Monday 05th April 2004

Hales makes nine new signings

Erith & Belvedere may have their work cut out to avoid being relegated from the Dr Martens League Eastern Division, but that hasn't stopped new manager Kevin Hales from making wholesale changes to his squad and backroom staff.

Barry Lakin joined former Welling United boss Hales at Erith after he replaced the departed Micky Cloke at the end of last month and goalkeeper Glenn Knight has also been brought in, but primarily in a coaching role as the ex-Welling and Dagenham & Redbridge stopper has an injury which has ruled him out of action for the rest of this season.

Former Spurs, West Ham and Charlton midfielder Mark Robson, who is Charlton's youth coach, has also signed on but as one of nine new players signed by Hales ahead of last week's transfer deadline.

Hales' Welling connection is obviously to the fore as six of the newcomers were with him at Park View Road.

The exceptions are Leicester City youngster Lewis Tozer, who had a loan spell in the Nationwide Conference with Halifax Town earlier this season, 21-year-old Andrew Julius - a one-time Crystal Palace and Barnet player who has more recently been on the books at Bromley, Crawley Town, Hertford Town and Braintree Town, and young goalkeeper Robert Elliott, originally with the Deres' Go Travel Kent League neighbours Erith Town and now at Charlton, from where he has joined on 'work experience'.

The Wings connection include defender Steve Taylor, who has also been at Dartford and Fisher Athletic, midfielders Paul Lorraine, Dean Standen and experienced centre back John Farley, who have all arrived straight from Park View Road, and 23-year-old Charley Side, who has been with Dulwich Hamlet since October 2001.