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Faversham Town boss James Collins says several new signings have strengthened his Isthmian South East squad


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Faversham manager James Collins says a plethora of new signings have strengthened his squad.

Town’s first-team are preparing to visit Burgess Hill after a fortnight without Isthmian South East football, although Collins has used two under-23 matches during that time to look at some recent arrivals.

Faversham boss James Collins. Picture: Alan Langley
Faversham boss James Collins. Picture: Alan Langley

He has signed five players since they last played while Jono Richardson has also joined of late. Midfielder Stephen Okoh, meanwhile, has left the club for Whitehawk.

Frontman Dean Grant has re-joined, keeper Henry Newcombe has come in, versatile full-back Abdul Saccoh offers more options on the left, while Eddie Allsopp and Maliq Morris bolster the options in midfield.

But Collins, whose side were due to host Hythe on Tuesday but saw the match postponed due to the fuel crisis, has warned the arrivals none are guaranteed a regular first-team spot.

“Look, we just thought we needed to freshen things up a little bit. We thought that, maybe, it had got a bit stale,” Collins explained.

“I just felt we needed a little push. But with the boys we have signed, there are no guarantees they will play week-in, week-out.

“The team I had picked for Tuesday only had two new players in it.

Dean Grant is among Faversham's recent signings, re-joining from Herne Bay. Picture: Chris Davey
Dean Grant is among Faversham's recent signings, re-joining from Herne Bay. Picture: Chris Davey

“It (the new signings) just strengthens the squad a little bit because we only signed Roman Campbell in the summer and we have lost bodies along the way this season.”

Newcombe left Folkestone for Chatham in May but has now signed for Town, and will battle Luke Watkins for the number one shirt.

Collins said: “It gives competition for Luke. There is no reason why there should not be competition for keepers as well.

“I have a lot of time for Luke but, for me, we have been conceding too many goals.

“Henry is not guaranteed anything. But he has looked good in the under-23s games.”

If it goes ahead, 12th-placed Faversham will visit a Burgess Hill team who are bottom of the table this Saturday.

But the Hillians reached the FA Cup second qualifying round before losing to Dorking and Collins said: “I would suggest that might be a slightly false position at the moment for them. I’m expecting a tough game.”

Town's under-23s, including some senior players with up to three players over 23 allowed in their squad, lost 3-1 to Rusthall Reserves in the Kent Intermediate Cup first round last weekend at Salters Lane.

Read more: All the latest sports news from Kent

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