Boss Jay Saunders reckons he can get more out of Jonny Henly after the Tonbridge goalkeeper agreed to stay at the club for the 2022/23 season.
Henly was a key figure for Angels during their 2021/22 campaign as they finished 16th in National League South - despite having one of the best defensive records in the league.
Much of that Angels defence has agreed to stay already while Saunders has brought centre-back Ben Swift with him to Longmead from former club Margate. Midfielder Tommie Fagg signed on Wednesday from Isthmian South East play-off finalists Ashford, turning down more lucrative offers for his services from elsewhere.
“He was one I was desperate to keep,” Saunders said of Henly.
“Whenever I have watched Tonbridge, I have been impressed with him.
“I think we can get more out of him. I think his levels maybe dropped slightly [towards the end of the season] and he agreed when I spoke to him.
“He had a little bit of interest from a club in the National League but he has decided to stay. He’s really well respected by all the players so I’m really delighted to get that one done.
“You certainly don’t want to lose your centre-forward and goalkeeper!”
Saunders had also been keen to keep hold of top scorer Tommy Wood, but he has decided to move closer to home and join Hampton & Richmond.
He added: “I’m disappointed to lose him, he was someone I was trying to keep.
“I think, for Tommy, the club he is signing for is about 15 minutes from his house. I get that at the end of the day.
“When you are part-time, you have work commitments and your family to consider. He was a little bit gutted to leave.
“It’s an area we are looking to strengthen. But hopefully, we will be able to replace him quite soon.
“It’s never easy, he scored goals, and I wanted the opportunity to work with him.
“I felt I could get more out of him as well. It’s, obviously, the hardest position to fill - a centre-forward.
“But we were working on it just in case anyway and we have a couple of meetings this week.”
Saunders has brought in three players from lower-league clubs in Swift, Fagg and striker Louis Collins, but he is now hoping to add some experience to his new-look squad.
He stated: “Tommie Fagg is a good size. If it was not for Covid, I think he would have played higher a bit quicker.
“But it’s all a bit slow at the moment.
“Some clubs have not even done their retained list but I’m hoping, either by the end of the week or early next week, to have brought another one or two in.”