Brantham Athletic swoop to sign five new players

BRANTHAM Athletic boss Tony Hall believes that, on paper, he has a stronger squad at his disposal for the forthcoming season despite losing two of his star players.

Hall has added five new players to his squad, who last season finished third in the Ridgeons League Premier Division, ahead of the newly-named Thurlow Nunn League kicking-off on August 4.

The departures of Ollie Mann and Tom Wray have been offset by the arrival of Leiston duo Michael Brothers and Blake Saker, Needham Market’s Angelo Harrop and Felixstowe & Walton United duo Matt Ryland and Ben Garnham.

Versatile striker Brothers and right back Saker have enjoyed back-to-back promotions with Leiston as they have moved up to the Ryman League Premier Division.

Hall said: “Michael is returning to the club after two successful seasons at Leiston and we are really pleased to have him back, while Blake has absolutely been at the top of his game for the last five or six years. They are both quality players.”

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Midfielder Harrop re-joined Needham Market last season from Leiston and Hall said: “He will bring a different quality to the side. As a midfielder going forward he is the best I have seen locally.”

Left back Ryland had been skipper at Felixstowe & Walton United for the last two seasons, while Garnham had been a key player in the Seasiders’ midfield for the past season-and-a-half.

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“Matt is a very exciting player who gets forward well from the back. I have been tracking Ben for the last one-and-a-half years and I am really pleased he has joined Brantham,” said Hall.

With the exception of Mann and Wray all of last season’s squad have committed to the club for the forthcoming campaign, with highly-rated goalkeeper Ryan Bedingfield signing a new two-year contract despite interest from other clubs.

Hall said: “Both myself and Colin Grogan, my assistant and first-team coach, are looking forward to working with all the players again.

“We will have some tough decisions to make over the coming weeks, but every single player at the club will be in contention.”

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