EASTWOOD Town’s squad grew further this week as four more players signed on the dotted line.
The deals were done after joint managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong returned from Ireland where they were taking part one of their UEFA ‘A’ coaching badges.
Among the signings is 24-year-old goalkeeper Ian Deakin, a fans’ favourite at Coronation Park for most of his career to date but who lost his place to previous custodian John Danby last season before having a spell at Hinckley United.
Also joining is striker Jason Bradley, who has most recentley been playing in the Conference Premier with Tamworth and was a team-mate of Armstong at Mansfield Town.
Young left-back Sam Benjamin has signed following his release by Nottingham Forest where he has spent the last eight years, and winger Danny Poole is also recruited having recently appeared for Carlton Town and Hucknall Town.
Brough said he and Armstrong were delighted with the signings, particularly as they beat off competition from some big clubs in the cases of Bradley and Benjamin.
He said: “Wrexham offered Jason a contract but he’s ended up coming here for less than half the money he was offered there.
“He’s played alongside Craig and I think that helped, but, as with the others, he has bought into what we want to achieve here and that’s really pleasing.
“Sam Benjamin is a powerful, attacking full-back who was wanted by Histon but he also chose to come here after we spoke to him. He had some bad luck with an ankle injury last year as there was a delay in getting him an operation but he’s good to go and will be a great signing.
“Danny Poole fell out of favour a bit at Hucknall which wasn’t necessarily down to a lack of form, more due to numbers there. He’s very quick and works hard but we’ll have to assess during pre-season whether the step up will suit him, so whilst he has officially signed there will still be a bit of a trial period for him during the summer.
“Ian Deakin knows the club and the level inside out so it’s great to have him back here. He’ll form part of what we hope will be quite a good goalkeeping set-up as we’re aiming to bring in one or two more keepers to challenge for a place in the team.”
Meanwhile, Brough confirmed defender Adie Hawes is still an Eastwood player but that the management are fully respectful of his wishes to play full-time football.
He said: “Adie wants to go full-time and we can’t blame him for that and morally can’t stand in his way if an offer comes in.
“But he also knows the club comes first and that unless an offer comes in that’s right for us initially, and we then give him permission to speak to the club involved, he is our player and we expect him back for training with the rest of the squad on June 30.”
Brough also confirmed the club is yet to receive a penny from the transfer deals which took Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle to Mansfield Town, and that the matter is now in the hands of the club’s lawyers.
He said: “The club is entitled to a percentage of the transfer fees paid by Mansfield, but there are complications with regard to the timing of the transfers and in relation to the date the club changed ownership.
“But we are certainly due money from the deals and our solicitors are currently on the case.”
Meanwhile, details of the club’s new owners are expected to be announced over the course of the next week, with one or two legal issues still to be resolved.
Brough added: “We expect to be making an official announcement over the next week or so and will do so via our official website.
“We have planned a fans’ forum for July 3 although this may have to be put back a week due to holidays, but it will be an opportunity for fans to ask us anything they like about what the future holds.”