Things are looking positive at the moment, says Erith Town's joint-boss Martin Ford
ERITH TOWN joint-manager Martin Ford has been busy in the summer transfer market to ensure that the club does not suffer a relegation dog fight like it did last season.
The Dockers finished in the bottom two in the Southern Counties East Football League but relegation was put on hold after Woodstock Sports folded and Lingfield left the league.
The club have re-signed captain Paul Springett, Elyon Marshall Katung, Kerry Kedze, Ramone McCrae, Daniel Willis, Sam Gent, CJ Williams, Joe Hagen, Ola Kukoyi, Kadeem Ajeon, Koby Botwe, Christian Howells and Ben Mundele for the new season ahead.
Ford told www.erithtown.co.uk: “Yes, we are over the moon that these lads have decided to stay and put to paper for us again this season.
“As we have said all along, we started something towards the end of last season and these lads want to see how far they can take it.
“I like to think that we have got a number of these players back enjoying their football again after it wasn't working out for them at other clubs and sometimes that makes a big difference.
“They know us well enough now, they know how we work and how we want to do things and they will all play a big role for the club going forward.
“After sitting down and having a chat; both Joe (Ford) and myself felt that it was important to keep the main bulk of last season’s squad as it was a special little group that we put together and to be honest it was that team morale and unity that proved massive for us".
The Dockers have managed to persuade former Sittingbourne striker David Abe to sign for the club – despite Aaron Perry announcing that he had signed for Kent County League Premier Division side Snodland Town earlier on in the summer.
Ford said: “David is a very good signing for us, we highlighted him early as someone we would like to get in; he's played lots of games in the Ryman League over the past couple of seasons for Sittingbourne and has plenty of experience at such a young age.
“The guy is in great shape, is looking very sharp in training and we are delighted to get him on board with us".
Ford revealed the signing of former Ebbsfleet United, Cray Wanderers, Fisher and Holmesdale midfielder Luke Coleman.
He said: “Luke is a fantastic signing for us, he's played at a good level, is experienced and is a naturally gifted player. You can tell just from the way he trains that he is full of quality and Joe and myself are delighted to have signed a player of his calibre".
Ford has also snapped up midfielder Jamie Taylor and defender Danny Akers.
"Two decent additions; both young, eager and technically very good,” said Ford.
“Another case of two players that need to get back enjoying their football and settle at a club.
“Danny will be honest and tell you himself that over the past couple of seasons he hasn't taken his football as seriously as he could have, he played for me at Fisher during my time there and I thought he would go on from that if I'm being honest. He hasn't just yet so hopefully we can get him back playing and push him on. He's told me he wants to take his football seriously again and I hope that's the case.
“Jamie was part of Ramsgate's successful survival bid last season in the Ryman South which would have given him plenty of experience and only would have helped him as a player. He is another one that played for me at Fisher when I was there and probably is one of the best players at this level I've seen technically. He will add another dimension to us definitely.
Joe Boreland has been signed from Woodstock Sports, following the Sittingbourne based club’s sad demise at the end of April.
Ford said: “Joe joins us from Woodstock Sports who obviously folded last season and he has impressed in the sessions we have had. When I say he can play anywhere, I mean it - he played in every position for Woodstock including in goal I believe last season and he will be a strong acquisition for us".
Ford hailed the arrival of former VCD Athletic, Chatham Town and Thamesmead Town striker, Danny Penny.
"Well what can I say about Danny Penny? I can't speak highly enough of him to be honest,” said Ford.
“Unfortunately a number of injuries over the past few seasons has stopped him from playing as regularly as he would of wanted but he has had the all clear now and is ready to go again.
“Danny was exceptional for me during my time at VCD all those years ago and I won't ever forget that!
“He was my skipper and he went on to captain a title winning side at VCD after I left and has been there and done it at all levels.
“He is getting older, yes of course, but he's getting himself going again and looks fit and up for it.
“If we can use him sensibly then he will be one hell of a signing for us. He will also add a lot of experience to our young side which can only the benefit the younger lads we have.
“Last season Paul Springett come in and it made a huge difference to our young squad - he too is staying with us this season and of course he will be big for us once again and I know that Dan will only add to that side of things as well so with a blend of young exciting players and some experienced heads I'm excited about it as is Joe and Marc".
Ford is looking to add to his squad, ahead of the new season.
He said: "We are talking to a couple more players and are hopeful to announce those signings shortly and then we will be done.
“We are happy with what we have and don't want too many as that causes problems within itself.
“Things are looking positive at the moment and we will keep striving towards keeping things that way.
“We will be signing all of the reserve/youth team lads on first team forms as well which includes young Max Williams and Merrick Simms, both of them represented an SCEFL side last season at just 16 years old as well as Ben Mundele who took to first team football like a fish to water last season and scored twice for us in our survival bid.
“We have loads of young prospects which naturally creates lots of competition for places which for Joe and myself as joint manager's is a happy headache to have at this stage.”
Meanwhile, James Cato has been appointed as the club’s first team physio.
Visit Erith Town’s website: www.erithtown.co.uk