With pre-season now in full swing and a first friendly against Shirebrook Town ahead this Saturday, three more experienced players committed to the Wrens this week.
They are defenders Greg Archer and Matt Varley (pictured), along with creative midfielder Scott Rickards, which now takes manager Kevin Gee’s new additions up to six.
Speaking after training Gee confirmed, “I am delighted that Greg and Matt have decided to join us and defensively now the squad is complete. Greg has a wealth of experience at this level, having been at Goole and more recently at Brigg Town.
“Matt was last year’s Carlton Town captain and played a major role in the Sheffield team who reached the play-offs in 2012.”
The recruitment this year has been done to hopefully overcome the shortfalls that prevented the team from achieving an even higher position in the league, which their performances during the season merited.
He added: “Last year I just felt that at times we were physically bullied by the opposition, and having only a small squad, injuries took their toll at vital times. We now have a big strong physical back unit, but more importantly the depth and cover to cope with any injuries.
“The physicality has not been achieved at ‘all costs’, the new recruits are all comfortable on the ball, which is important as we like to pass the ball around once we gain possession.”
“Greg has been to all five sessions since showing an interest in joining us, and he’s a very fit lad as well as being physically strong and his attitude has been first class. His versatility in a variety of positions, is going to be invaluable this year, so another great acquisition.”
“Matt of course is no stranger to me, having been at Glapwell. He too has a physical presence, once again comfortable with the ball and a threat in the opposition box.
“He needed time to decide whether he wanted to stay at Carlton or move a little closer to home, which I respected, but I’m delighted that he has decided to join us, and he has settled in straight away.”
“Our final recruit is Scott Rickards, a creative midfield player who played at Sutton Coldfield and Barwell last year.
“The main reason for Scott joining our group this year, is due to his work commitments changing, which has meant that he will be based in Mansfield, but I’m absolutely delighted that he has committed to the club last night.
“We didn’t score enough goals from midfield last season and Scott is great at breaking lines and scoring a few from midfield, he also has an excellent passing range that hurts defenders, so again he will be a great asset to the group.”
“Obviously with the work transitions, it has been difficult for him to join the group until now and he was a bit rusty. But for him to travel from Wolverhampton to train with us last night meant a lot, as it shows he genuinely wanted to be there which is really important.
“I am indebted to Neil Tooth at Sutton Coldfield for his complimentary reports about us to Scott, when asked his advice on what Rainworth were like as a club.”
Although the pre-season has seen some high profile recruits coming to Kirklington Road, the preparation for the new season is still ongoing.
“With seven weeks to go before the start of the season I wouldn’t necessarily say we are front of anybody in terms of our preparation but we certainly aren’t behind.
“I think another wide player and two experienced strikers to add to the group and then the squad will be complete,”said Gee.
“I know our supporters are desperate to read that we have recruited the strikers required, for the final piece of the jigsaw.
“However, they have to be the right players that are hungry, and want to be at the club, not just because we are the highest bidder. I’m confident that those positions will be filled before the start of the season on the 17th of August, but I’m not in any rush.”
He also was appreciative that the fans are desperate to see his new recruits and that pre-season matches bring some relief for the players from the tedium of training.
“Saturday sees the first pre-season game at home to Shirebrook Town.It is probably a week too soon for both clubs,” he said
“Like ourselves, Julian is still building his new squad, but it gives us both a chance to see at what stage we are at in our pre-season preparations.
“It will also give the fans an opportunity to see and show their appreciation to some of their old favourites, Danny Bacon, Mark Camm, Joe McCormack and Jordan Turner, now with Shirebrook.”