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Sittingbourne show their intent with ex-Football League signings

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Sittingbourne report for pre-season training this weekend boosted by another big signing.

Jason Banton came through the youth ranks at Arsenal and was a young professional with Liverpool, Leicester and Crystal Palace before making more than 50 appearances over two spells with Plymouth.

Sittingbourne manager Nick Davis. Picture: John Westhrop
Sittingbourne manager Nick Davis. Picture: John Westhrop

Still only 29, Banton, who plays out wide or up front, also counts MK Dons and Wycombe among his former Football League clubs.

He’s been on the non-league scene for the past five years, at clubs including Woking and Torquay, and joins Sittingbourne from Isthmian Premier Kingstonian.

Banton’s signing follows that of another ex-Football League winger in former Cheltenham man Alex Addai, the 28-year-old also arriving from Kingstonian.

“We wanted to bring in quality in an attacking sense, and we’ve done that with the players we’ve brought in,” said manager Nick Davis.

“I like my widemen and I like my pace and we’ve got some good options going forward now.

“Alex Addai was only in the Football League a couple of years ago and Jason Banton’s CV is unbelievable, and they’re both good ages, they should be in their peak.

“They’re real talented players who we’ve managed to sign.

“It’s helped us, getting lads like these, because we’re finding people are coming to us a little bit more now.

“We’ve still got to make sure it’s the right people that come in but I think we’ve got 14 players agreed now, which puts us in a good place.

“There’s still one or two places to fill and 75% of the side will be new, so really it’s a case of getting everyone in and trying to gel as quick as we can.

“We had our list of players, the ones we wanted, you don’t get all your targets, but the ones we’ve got will definitely add a bit of quality to the side.”

Sittingbourne start pre-season training this Saturday, with Davis excited to put his new-look squad through their paces.

A number of trialists are also set to feature while the door has been left open for members of last season’s squad to show the new manager what they can do.

“We’ve invited quite a few back to pre-season,” said Davis.

“Some moved on before I got there, and people like Lex Allan have done their own thing, which I’ve no problem with.

"It’s that time of year when everything’s up for grabs and people are moving about - good luck to them.

“We’ll have an in-house game to look at a few trialists and get a feel for things.

“It’ll be good to get going with the balls and see the players.

“We’ve got Saturday-Tuesday training and then our first friendly the following weekend (Glebe, away, July 1).

“I’m looking forward to getting to work.”

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