EASTWOOD Town’s squad has grown from two players to eight after a flurry of signings this week.
Joint managers Jamie Brough and Craig Armstrong have raided their contact books to bring in a mix of youth and experience, as the duo prepare to head for Ireland to complete their UEFA ‘A’ coaching badges.
Former Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder Curtis Woodhouse is the most eye-catching of the acquisitions.
The 31-year-old played over 150 games at Championship level and also featured for Peterborough United, Hull City and Rushden & Diamonds among others before opting for a career in professional boxing which has seen him win 14 of his 15 bouts.
Armstrong said: “I played against Curtis in a play-off final in 2005 when I was at Cheltenham and he was with Grimsby, and we’ve been good friends for a long time.
“He’s been floating around non-league for a couple of years due to his boxing, which has made him very fit albeit in a physical sense rather than actually being match fit at the moment.
“But his experience will be invaluable and I’m delighted he’s agreed to sign. Being a boxer he has a massive desire to win at all costs and that will be a huge benefit in the dressing room and out on the pitch, especially if things get tough.
“He’s been there and done it. We’re hoping his boxing career won’t interfere too much, and whilst there may be occasions where he will have to miss training if he is preparing for a big fight, he should be available most of the time.”
Also joining are former Notts County striker Ben Fairclough, ex-Nottingham Forest and Boston United winger James Cullingworth, midfielder Josh Burge, once of Ilkeston and Hucknall, another former Ilkeston man in winger Chris Adam and centre-half Aaron Mitchell, who started his career with Forest and was at Conference Premier side Tamworth last season.
“We’ve got one of the smallest budgets in the league at the moment so to be able to have brought players like these to the club is excellent,” said Armstrong.
“Ben Fairclough was at Hinckley last year having lost his way a bit at Notts County, but is a great talent who I think will do well here. Josh Burge is currently studying at University and the experience of those around him should see him develop into an excellent player.
“We’re really pleased with all of the signings and expect more to follow quite quickly.”
Armstrong also emphasised the need for sponsors to come on board having so far struggled to get backing from local businesses.
He feels the relationship between potential sponsors and the club has become strained in recent months, but stressed the club will find it very difficult to move forward unless money comes in.
He said: “The financial sitution is totally different from before and because virtually all of the previous sponsors have walked away for various reasons, we’re urging people to help us out and generate vital funds that are needed for player recruitment and wages as well as general running costs.
“More details about the new owners should come to light soon and hopefully then we can talk to more people.”