It's been a very challenging transition period, says Cray Wanderers boss Keith Bird

Monday 10th February 2014
CRAY WANDERERS manager Keith Bird continues his revolving door policy ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Maidstone United.

The Wands remain rooted to the foot of the Ryman Premier League table with 14 points from 28 games and are 12 points adrift of safety.

Bird, who along with his assistant Mike Paye was running the reserve team at landlords Bromley earlier on in the season, has released three players and brought in three new players, ahead of their trip to league leaders Maidstone United.

The Stones leapfrogged over Dulwich Hamlet to reach the summit again, following their 1-1 home draw against Canvey Island at the weekend.

Jay Saunders’ side are unbeaten on their 3G pitch in the league this season, with eight wins and nine draws.

“Three players have left the club and three experienced players have been signed to further strengthen the squad,” Bird told the club website.

“Firstly, I would like to thank three of the younger players of the squad that we have recently parted company with in order that they can get regular football elsewhere. They are Aaron Rhule, Tom O’Connor and Joshua Oyinsan.

“All three of these lads were a credit to themselves and I would like to thank them for being part of the squad during a very challenging transition period.

“Aaron, Tom and Joshua all have a bright future in the game and I look forward to monitoring their progress.”

Bird has brought in two players from Skrill South side Farnborough in the shape of Tyrone Berry, 26, (midfielder/winger) and Merrick James-Lewis, 21, (holding midfielder) - and has brought in another goalkeeper with Nick Taylor putting pen to paper.

“I am delighted to announce three more experienced signing to our new look squad,” said Bird.

“Tyrone joins us from Farnborough where he has been on fire for them recently.

“In fact in Tyrone’s last game for Farnborough last Tuesday night he scored two goals and got man-of-the-match before signing for us.”

Bird added: “Merrick is another former professional footballer. He started at Fulham’s Academy before joining Southend United and signed a pro-contract with them. Whilst at Southend he had a loan spell at Conference side Braintree before signing for Colchester United.”

And Taylor, who began at Millwall’s Academy before joining the youth set-up at Crystal Palace, before signing professional terms at Woking followed by Dagenham & Redbridge, before dropping down to the non-league game.

Bird said: “We are delighted to finally be able to sign a recognised keeper to be our official number two to back to Darren Bechet.
“Tyrone, Merricak and Nick will come straight into the squad for our game against Maidstone on Tuesday night.”

Visit Cray Wanderers’ website:

Maidstone United  v  Cray Wanderers
Ryman Premier League
Tuesday 11th February 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At The Gallagher Stadium, James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ