As manager Neil Tooth continues to build towards the start of the new campaign he has today moved to bolster his squad with the arrival of five new players at Keys Park.
In a move to strengthen the Pitmen back line young defender J’Cee Abraham has been added to the squad. Released by Championship side Rotherham United at the end of last season, Abraham is comfortable played at centre-half or left-back and will provide good competition in those positions.
Also arriving at Keys Park is central midfielder Lee Smith with him having skippered Romulus before playing a number of games in the National League North for Tamworth after being snapped up by the Lambs.
The third new arrival sees Northern Irish international Jamie Lawrie having agreed to join the club from Altrincham. The 26-year-old played almost 250 games for Alty after originally starting his career with Port Vale before spending time with Kidderminster Harriers and AFC Telford United. Lawrie will be a familiar face to Pitmen supporters with him having scored the winning goal against Town in our 2013/14 play-off semi-final defeat.
Striker Ryan Wynter has also agreed a deal at Keys Park with the front man having most recently played for Chasetown. The former Stafford Rangers man is another player who will sit in the minds of Hednesford supporters having scored the first goal in our Staffordshire Senior Cup semi-final defeat.
The final new arrival today sees the vastly experienced striker Luke Rodgers joining the club. The 35-year-old made his name with Shrewsbury Town before continuing to enjoy a Football League career with Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale, Yeovil Town and Notts County before spending a season with New York Red Bulls. After sropping into non-league in 2014 he has most recently been with Stourbridge.
Manager Neil Tooth, said: “I’m very happy to announce the latest additions to the squad.
“Jamie and Luke both bring bags of ability and a wealth of experience from playing professional football. It is great to get both players on-board as they could have both signed for clubs in the league above.
“Lee is a player I’ve admired for years and he has numerous qualities that every side needs. Having worked with him for a short period I know he will fit right into what we are trying to put together.
“Ryan and J’Cee are both young with bags of potential. J’Cee comes out of academy football but I have no doubt he will adapt to non-league football and although Ryan has been around for a few years now I still think the best is to come from him. I’m confident that working with the forward players we now have will help push him on.
“We are still talking to three or four more players that I would like to add to the squad but overall I’m really happy with how things are shaping up.”
Earlier this week we received news that striker Tony Clarke had decided to not return to the club for pre-season training and instead sign for Walsall Wood. He will be joined there by Jordan Fitzpatrick and we thank them both for their efforts while at Keys Park.
Of the remaining players from last season’s squad, Dan Brenan has moved to the USA in order to take up a football scholarship, Blake Thompson, Kyle Haynes and Gavin Caines have all been released, Lewis Wright has been offered terms on a new deal while Jake Webb and Reece Wagstaff will undertake pre-season training with the club.