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Tonbridge Angels re-sign defender Jamie Fielding just over a month after he left in search of full-time football

Defender Jamie Fielding is back with Tonbridge - just over a month after leaving the club.

The right-back made 106 appearances after joining the Angels from Stevenage in September 2021, scoring six goals.

Tonbridge Angels manager Jay Saunders. Picture: Helen Cooper
Tonbridge Angels manager Jay Saunders. Picture: Helen Cooper

He turned down a new deal in search of full-time football but has returned to Longmead and is on board for the new National League South season.

“He had quite a few offers - Scottish Championship and all sorts - but nothing was quite right,” said manager Jay Saunders.

“He had a few offers from our level but he felt if he was going to stay at National South, he’d rather be with us.

“He knows the club and we know what he’s all about.

“He’s still only 24 and he was probably one of our most consistent players last year.

“He’s popular with the fans and he’s good for us.

“I’ll be honest, he was offered a lot more money elsewhere but we get on well with him and the boys like him and the supporters do as well.

“He wants to be happy and enjoy his football and he does that here.

“You can’t blame these lads for wanting to go higher and trying to go full-time but different things fell through for whatever reason and I’m pleased we’ve got him over the line.”

Tonbridge won 7-3 in their opening friendly at Southern Counties East Corinthian on Saturday, with Sean Shields, Fumnaya Shomotun and Jeremy Santos among the scorers.

That was followed on Tuesday night by a 4-0 home defeat against a Sutton side looking to bounce back to the Football League at the first attempt after relegation.

Saunders, missing strikers Noel Leighton and Trevan Robinson through ankle niggles, said: “I think you learn more about individuals on Tuesday night than you do on Saturday.

“We had a lot of trialists involved and on Saturday everyone looks good because you’ve got loads of the ball and it’s hard to judge people.

“Tuesday night was more realistic. Sutton came down and you could see they were ahead of us fitness-wise.

“Both were good tests for different reasons but you learn more from a loss.

“We wanted to be tested and it helped make my mind up on a few of the trialists who on Saturday probably stood out but then in a more realistic test, they struggled.

“We wanted stern tests and that’s why set up the pre-season schedule as we did.

“Also it shows you that some of the lads we’ve signed need to get up to speed.

“A couple of them have missed a couple of training sessions so they’re behind others and it means they’ve got to do extra bits at home because we’re only in two nights.

“But it’s all learning and it’s all good for us.”

Tonbridge host Chatham on Saturday (3pm) and Bromley on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Angels are set to have a new keeper in place for the midweek game having agreed a season-long loan with a Football League club.

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