Bromley boss Neil Smith unveils Byron Webster signing
BROMLEY manager Neil Smith has unveiled the signings of Byron Webster and Tom Purrington.
Webster, a 33-year-old center-back, arrives at Hayes Lane having played for League Two side Carlisle United last season and brings a wealth of Football League experience with him.
Born in Leeds, Webster started his career in the youth ranks of York City, where he played as a striker and then later as a central midfielder. He earned his first professional contract with City in 2004 and remained there until 2007, where he moved on to Harrogate Town, as well as having a brief spell with Whitby Town.
Later in the same year, Webster moved to the Czech Republic and spent two seasons with FK Banik Most, making 49 appearances and scoring four times.
His performances earned him a move to Doncaster Rovers in 2009. During his time there he had short stints on loan with Hereford United and Northampton Town.
Following his departure, he signed for then League One side Yeovil Town, earning promotion to the Championship with the Glovers in 2013.
Millwall swooped to secure his services in June 2014. He remained at The Den for five years, clocking up 138 appearances and scoring eight goals, before departing in January 2019 for Scunthorpe United. He remained with the Iron for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, before joining Carlisle United for the 2019-20 campaign.
Smith told www.bromleyfc.tv: “Byron is someone Dunney (Alan Dunne) has known for a long time.
“He has a fantastic reputation at Millwall and is a real leader of men. It’s another experienced League player who’s coming in to help develop my young players and hopefully bring a leader in the changing room and on the pitch and kick us on in the League.”
Purrington, a 19-year-old midfielder, caught the eye by scoring twice in Bromley’s 4-3 win over Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane last Saturday.
Having followed in the footsteps of his older brother Ben, who plays for Charlton Athletic, Tom came through the academy at Plymouth Argyle, signing his first professional deal in 2018.
He also spent time on loan at Dorchester Town during the 2019-20 season, making 20 appearances and contributing three goals.
Purrington said: “I’m obviously buzzing to sign! All of the lads have been great since I’ve come in and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s now time to get going, not long until the start of the season so hopefully I get a chance and we go from there.”
Smith has also snapped up two 19-year-olds who have gained valuable experience in the Isthmian League playing for Phoenix Sports and Ramsgate.
Ben Allen and Jude Arthurs have both signed for the club as first-year professionals and will train alongside the first team with the ability to play for the under 23s.
Allen is a former Gillingham midfielder, who was snapped up by the League One side following an impressive performance and goal against them for Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup.
Arthurs, another ex-Gills man, will be known to some supporters and has featured in Bromley’s U23 side, as well as enjoying a spell with Ramsgate last season.
Smith said: “Jude Arthurs is a very promising young player with potential. He did so well in our professional development squad last year and we invited him to pre-season. He has excelled so far and really developed so we’ve made the decision to sign him as a first-year pro, meaning he will be a part of my squad.
“Ben Allen came into pre-season on recommendation and he was at Gillingham for a time alongside Jude. He came in and has impressed with the right attitude and a desire.
“Again, it just shows that here at this club that we do want to bring the youth through. If you want to work hard there is a space for you in this team. Hopefully with the signings over the past week we are getting the right blend of experience and younger players to bring success to this club.”
Bromley kick-off their 2020-21 Vanarama National League campaign with a trip to relegated side Macclesfield Town on Saturday 3 October before the Ravens welcome Dover Athletic to Hayes Lane three days later.
Visit Bromley’s website: www.bromleyfc.tv