Clarets sign defensive duo

CHELMSFORD City boss Glenn Pennyfather is delighted with the latest two confirmed arrivals to his promotion-seeking squad in the shape of defenders Ben Martin and Matt Lock.

CHELMSFORD City boss Glenn Pennyfather is delighted with the latest two confirmed arrivals to his promotion-seeking squad in the shape of defenders Ben Martin and Matt Lock.

City beat-off the attentions of a group of other interested clubs to sign the duo, who Pennyfather rates as two of the finest defenders in the Blue Square South from last season.

Right-back Lock was a major part of Team Bath's success last year before they were disbanded while Martin, a 6ft 7in centre-half, notched Players' Player and Supporters' Club Player of the Year gongs last season as captain of St Alban's City. He also netted eight times from the back, including an incredible hat-trick in a 4-5 defeat to Bromley.

“Ben is a dominant centre-half who we've known about for a while, because he's not the sort of character you forget easily once you've seen him play!” said Pennyfather.


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“He was great when he played against us and, for a tall lad, he's good with the ball on the floor as well. He is only 26 but has already gained a wealth of experience.”

Meanwhile, Lock is a former professional with 30 Exeter City appearances and Pennyfather was relieved to have secured his signature, explaining: “Matt is another player who was impressive when he lined-up against us last season. We knew Team Bath had some excellent players becoming available so we sent people to watch Matt who were very impressed. He has physically moved to Chelmsford as well which shows the commitment he has towards us.”

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The signings of this pair, Martin on a one-year and Lock on a two-year deal, take the official total of Clarets players to nine, though the City boss knows there are individuals who have committed to the club who will be completing their formalities shortly.

“There are players who are currently with us who will stay here but just haven't yet signed the paperwork. We want to get the squad settled and cohesive as soon as possible and the players we keep will have real desire and hunger. We have tried to bring down the average age of the squad and I believe we are doing so.”

The Clarets are currently preparing for a tough pre-season friendly challenge against Southend United on Saturday at Melbourne Stadium (3pm).

Last season's bout between City and Southend ended in a narrow 1-0 win for the away team. Former Chelsea striker Paul Furlong's first-half spot-kick was enough to see United emerge victorious in a closely-contested friendly at Melbourne. His 28th-minute strike proved to be the winner for the visitors, and Pennyfather is expecting another test this time around.

He said: “Southend will be another tough game just like it was on Wednesday. We've deliberately taken on difficult friendly matches this season and everyone is trying to prove that they are worthy of a place in this squad.”

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