Ex-Ipswich captain heads Chelmsford’s quadruple swoop
FORMER Ipswich Town reserve captain Justin Miller and Needham Market goal machine Craig Parker are part of an impressive quadruple swoop by Chelmsford City as the Clarets prepare to go one better next season.
Just weeks after play-off heartache in the Blue Square Bet South, City’s third consecutive loss in the semi-finals, manager Glenn Pennyfather has given a strong signal of intent with four new signings.
Miller, 30, arguably heads the pack after rejoining the Clarets following his impressive spell with City in the 2008/09 season. The South African right back was a trainee at Portman Road and made over 60 appearances in the reserves before moving on to Leyton Orient, Bournmouth, Port Vale and Rushden & Diamonds.
Miller said: “I enjoyed my time here so it’s best to come back to what you know. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t get promoted last time, but I kept an eye every season to see how we did.
“I’m looking forward to playing under Glenn and Ben (Chenery) and we need to go out this season and try and put that right.”
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The capture of Parker, who scored an amazing 112 goals in 176 games for Needham, will be particularly intriguing to see whether the prolific central midfielder can have the same success two levels up the non-league pyramid.
After keeper Carl Pentney returned to Colchester United following his successful loan spell at the Melbourne Stadium, Pennyfather has moved quickly to bring in a new No. 1 – former AFC Sudbury stopper Nicky Eyre.
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Despite leaving the Suffolk side in fairly acrominious circumstances, following a row over a fine, Eyre brings with him a host of non-league experience with Grays Athletic, Rushden & Diamonds and Dagenham & Redbridge.
The former Tottenham Hotspur youth keeper also has England Under-17s, schoolboy and C Team international honours to his name.
Coming hot on the heels of skipper David Rainford resigning, the quadruple is completed by central midfielder, Max Cornhill, 24, who swept the board at East Thurrock United’s end of season awards.
Chelmsford boss Pennyfather said: “I am really pleased with the signings so far, I wanted to get them done early so we can be fully focused on pre-season. Someone like Nicky Eyre is young but has an old head on his shoulders having won this title before and also the FA Trophy twice. With Craig Parker, it is a bit of a gamble for both us and him, but there is no denying his goalscoring record.
“I haven’t brought anyone in to sit on the bench. We had heartache over the last few years and although we now have understandable budget constraints, I want to assemble a squad that will be challenging again.”