Nick Davis has declared the signing of Gibraltar international goalkeeper Matt Cafer a real coup for Sittingbourne.
Cafer, who’s won two caps for his country, joins the Brickies from Isthmian North side Coggeshall.
The keeper, a former professional with Yeovil, made his international debut in a Nations League tie against Macedonia in 2018.
He’s also played in the Gibraltar Premier Division and been on the books of English non-league clubs including Weymouth and Bath City.
“He’s a great addition, a real coup for the club,” said Brickies boss Davis, who has left the door open for this season’s No.1 Harry Brooks.
“We had a meet-up in London and we’ve beaten off some stiff competition for him as well.
“There can’t be many internationals who’ve signed for Sittingbourne over the years.
“If you hear someone’s an international and they’re signing for a non-league club, they’re normally 35 but he’s only 28.
“It’s hard to find keepers now, I really find that. The last couple of years, it’s been a tough position to fill, so I’m delighted to get it over the line.
“He’s a nice guy, he’ll fit in and hopefully he can help us with what we’re looking to achieve.
“Once the opportunity to get him came up, we had to act on it.”
Davis, who expects to complete a “high-profile” signing this week, has agreed a new deal with captain Kane Rowland.
The striker scored 24 goals under Davis at Sittingbourne in the 2017-18 season and also worked with the returning Brickies boss at Ramsgate.
Versatile Rowland helped out in several positions this season, including centre-back, but Davis wants him up front.
“I think I probably got his best season out of him,” said Davis.
“He’s played in many positions this season, he’s done that for the team, but I want him through the middle, scoring goals.
“I spoke to him straight away after I came back.
“He was happy here, I’ve worked with him a couple of times before and he’s enjoyed playing under me, so I’m pleased he’s staying.”
Johan Caney-Bryan, Sittingbourne’s 14-goal leading scorer, has followed former boss Darren Blackburn and central defender Lex Allan to Hythe.
“If people want to move on to a new challenge, fine, I’ve no problem with that,” said Davis.
“Johan had been here four years, he was looking to leave halfway through the season and ended up staying.
“Fair play to him, it’s football, isn’t it? Good luck to him.
“Likewise, I’m looking to bring in new players myself.
“That’s standard for this time of year with clubs looking for players. There are thousands of conversations going on.”
While Caney-Bryan has moved on, midfielder Harry Miller has followed Rowland’s lead by agreeing a new deal.
Davis is a long-time admirer of the player. “I like him, he’s got all the attributes,” he said.
“He’s 6ft 3in, he gets about, he’s struggled with injury a bit but he lives in Sittingbourne, he wanted to stay and he was pleased I was keen to keep him.
“He had other offers, it seems every player has, but he’s stayed loyal and that’s pleasing.
“I remember him in his Herne Bay days when he was 17 and he looked a really good athlete who could get about and play a pass.
“I thought then he looked the part and I kept him an eye on him, as you do. When I got the job he was one I definitely wanted to keep.”
Sittingbourne have announced the following pre-season friendlies: July 1: Glebe (a), July 5: Bowers & Pitsea (a), July 7: Bromley (a), July 16: Phoenix Sports (a), July 26: Canterbury (h), July 30: Dulwich Hamlet (h), August 2: Herne Bay (h), August 6: Margate (h).