To attract someone of Paul Lorraine's quality is great for us, says Cray Wanderers boss Tony Russell

Saturday 16th July 2016

CRAY WANDERERS have pulled off a major summer transfer coup by enticing Paul Lorraine to join the club as their new player-assistant manager.

The 32-year-old steps in as Tony Russell’s right-hand man following long-time assistant Ray Powell announced his retirement following the club’s 3-0 away defeat at Harlow Town in the Ryman League play-off semi-final at the end of last season.

Lorraine is a very experienced central defender who arrives following a short spell at Vanarama National League South side Dartford towards the end of last season.

He is a very accomplished defender with great leadership qualities and should prove a more than capable addition to the defence as well as providing the benefit of his experience occasionally from the bench. 

Lorraine hasn’t played in the Ryman League Division One South before and it is expected the former Ebbsfleet United captain and Whitehawk man will form a defensive partnership alongside Jay Leader this season.

Russell said: “I was speaking to Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon about players and told him that I was looking for a centre half.  Macca said, “what about Paul Lorraine?”

“I said “I didn’t think I would get him for a number of reasons including money,” but he agreed to come down to us which is a massive boost to the club.

“I got chatting to him for about an hour and a half and realised he was so much like Razor (Powell) in a lot of ways. He simplifies things like Ray used to do where I am more technical and he’s very much old school.  You need that blend and that’s what worked for me and Razor.

“I then said “have you ever thought about going into management?” He said he would go and think about it and came back and said he’d love to do it.

“We’ve told the lads this afternoon and he’s impressed everyone in pre-season. He’ll give everything for the shirt on the pitch and plenty of work off it. 

“To attract someone of Paul’s quality is great for us and he had a number of offers in the summer but with the opportunity we’ve given him, it suits both parties.”

Cray Wanderers began their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 win over Aveley this afternoon.

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