* Alright so I said I was going on a break from writing for The Cold End but here we are back again with some news for the forthcoming Ryman Premier Division season. After the disapoinment of Enfield Town's three point deduction my club can hopefully use this as motivation for an even better 2015/16 campaign.
Glenn Poole has left New Lodge for a new challenge after playing for The Blues since 2011. Town manager Craig Edwards has moved quickly to replace him by signing midfielder Frank Curley from AFC Hornchurch. The Essex side have a number of pre-season friendly games arranged as follows -
Saturday 4th July - London Bari @ Robert Clack Leisure Centre, Dagenham
Saturday 11th July - Thurrock
Wednesday 15th July - DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE
Thursday 23rd July - AFC Hornchurch
Saturday 25th July - EBBSFLEET UNITED
Saturday 1st August - Guernsey
BOGNOR REGIS TOWN
The Rocks have signed Sami El-Abd from relegated Peacehaven and Telscombe. El-Abd, a central defender, is 27 years old and has lots of experience having played for Whitehaven, Lewes, Hayes and Yeading, Chelmsford City, Team Bath and Crawley Town. Bognor welcome Portsmouth to Nyewood Lane on Friday 17th July in their traditional pre-season friendly which will be a well attended game raising some much needed funds for the club.
Town are still to announce their new manager following Adam Flannagan (to Concord Rangers) and Danny Dafter departing the club after a successful season which saw the club promoted via the play-offs from Division One (North). An announcement is expected by the end of May. Attacking midfielder Sam Bantick, who impressed many with his performances last season, has followed Flannagan to Concord. Bantick scored 18 goals and made a huge number of assists in Town's successful Division One (North) campaign. The 23 year old, was a youth team player with Brentwood and has also played for Heybridge Swifts, Cheshunt, Ware, Hatfield Town and Great Wakering Rovers.
BURGESS HILL TOWN
The Hillians had a superb season in being crowned Division One (South) Champions. Ian Champman's side have a number of pre-season friendly games arranged in preparation for their first season at Step 3 of the non-league ladder.
Saturday 4th July - Loxwood @ Ardingly College.
Saturday 11th July - NORTHAMPTON TOWN
Wednesday 15th July - CRAWLEY TOWN
Tuesday 21st July - PEACEHAVEN AND TELSCOMBE
Friday 24th July - Horsham YMCA v Burgess Hill Town XI)
Saturday 25th July - HASTINGS UNITED
Wednesday 29th July - South Park
Friday 31st July - Shoreham v Burgess Hill Town XI
Saturday 1st August - Whyteleafe
The Islander's have four home pre-season games arranged as well as a short trip to Division One (North) side Great Wakering Rovers.
Saturday 11th July - DARTFORD
Tuesday 14th July - CHELMSFORD CITY
Tuesday 28th July - Great Wakering Rovers
Saturday 1st August - RAMSGATE
Wednesday 5th August - WEST HAM UNITED XI
Left-Back Frazer Shaw has been recognised for his brilliant performances during the 2014/15 season by being called into the England C squad for their forthcoming friendly game against Republic of Ireland U21s in Galway on Monday 1st June. Shaw is the first Hamlet player to be selected for the team formerly known as the England semi-pro International team formed in 1979.
The South London side have a full list of pre-season games arranged including a home game versus Peterborough United which will see Erhan Oztumer return to Champion Hill following his move to the League One side in the summer of 2014. German side Altona 1893 also visit on Saturday 11th July which should be a fanstastic occasion. They play in the Oberliga Hamburg which sits in the fifth tier of the German game. This game kicks off at 6pm which could see ground hoppers and football followers getting in an early pre-season double if they couple this fixture with a nearby 3pm kick off.
Wednesday 8th July - PETERBOROUGH UNITED
Saturday 11th July - ALTONA 1893
Tuesday 14th July - DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE
Saturday 18th July - CHARLTON ATHLETIC
Tuesday 21st July - Aveley
Saturday 25th July - Whyteleafe
Tuesday 28th July - Chipstead
Thursday 30th July - Beckenham Town
EAST THURROCK UNITED
The East Thurrock United website reports that Sam Higgins who scored an amazing 44 goals for The Rocks last season has committed to stay at Rookery Hill for the 2015/16 season. Defender Tom Stephen who played in 58 of their 59 fixtures has moved up to Step 2 of the non-league ladder in joining Concord Rangers. The 22 year old has attracted attention from a number of other clubs.
As written about elsewhere on The Cold End the Town will now be without their inspirational captain and central defender Mark Kirby. After spending five eventful years with the club Kirbs has re-joined league rival's Hendon.
Supporter's player of the year Stanley Muguo, Claudio Vilcu, Tyler Campbell, Ryan Doyle, Joe Stevens and Jordon Lockie have all committed to playing for Bradley Quinton's side for the 2015/16 campaign.
The club will be holding trials in June and invite players to send their footballing CV's to the club's chief scout Errol Hassan (email@example.com) - The two trials will be held on Monday 15th June and Wednesday 17th June with a match to be played on Saturday 20th June.
Three pre-season friendly games have been arranged so far with AFC Rushden and Diamonds visiting Donkey Lane on Saturday 18th July followed by Championship side Brighton & HA sending a team on Tuesday 21st July. On Wednesday 29th July Town make the short journey to St Margaretsbury in a match to officially open their new floodlights which have recently been installed - Their will be a special programme produced for the game.
Farnborough play Slough Town in a pre-season friendly on Saturday 11th July with a 2pm kick off which will be followed by Reading Women v Durham Women in a FA WSL 2 fixture with a 6pm kick off at Cherrywood Road. The following week Spencer Day's side visit Sandhurst Town.
Athletic have lost the services of goal-keeper Conor Gough (another Ryman player moving to Concord Rangers) and right back Aaron Best who joins VCD Athletic. Gough, 21 years old, played 51 times for Athletic last season after leaving Bristol Rovers where he had spent two seasons. Born in Ilford, he started his career with Charlton Athletic.
HAMPTON AND RICHMOND BOROUGH
Ex AFC Wimbledon keeper Seb Brown has committed to playing for The Beavers next season as well as striker and fan's favourite Charlie Goode who was the Ryman Premier golden boot winner for the 2013/14 season with over 40 goals. He scored 19 times last season after returning to the club
Defender Joe Hicks has joined the club from Division One (South) Corinthian Casuals. He played at Kingstonian prior to his move to Casuals in 2010 where current Beaver's manager Alan Dowson was in charge.
Manager Steve Baker, who joined the club midway through the season from Division One (South) side Chipstead and subsquently kept Borough in the Premier Division with a number of brilliant results, has signed a two year contact at Earlsmead. Saturday 1st August sees Harrow Borough play either Ashford Town or Cockfosters in the final of the delayed 2014/15 Middlesex Charity Cup following Enfield Town being removed from the competition. The game will be played at Earlsmead.
As well as the signing of Mark Kirby the club have also signed Mahrez Battache from Corinthian Casuals. The attacking midfielder came through the youth ranks at Fulham. Central-Defender Charlie Goode has capped a fantastic season for the club after signing from AFC Hayes in November 2014 by being selected for the England C squad for their game against Republic of Ireland as mentioned under Dulwich Hamlet. Goode will no doubt develop into an even better player alongside Kirbs next season.
Experienced striker Richard Jolly has signed for The K's. Jolly has played for AFC Wimbledon and Wealdstone amongst other clubs and is known to manager Tommy Williams from their time at Carshalton Athletic. The K's have a full list of friendly games as below. The game against AFC Wimbledon is a testimonial match for goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey who has made 277 appearances for The K's since signing from Horsham in 2009 -
Saturday 11th July - Whyteleafe
Monday 13th July - CHELSEA XI
Saturday 18th July - Hastings United
Tuesday 21st July - MILLWALL XI
Saturday 25th July - Tooting and Mitcham United
Thursday 30th July - AFC WIMBLEDON
Monday 3rd August - Corinthian Casuals
The Tanners have arranged the following pre-season games -
Saturday 11th July - Corinthian
Wednesday 15th July - Three Bridges
Saturday 18th July - Sutton Athletic
Tuesday 21st July Cobham
Thursday 23rd July - Erith & Belvedere
Saturday 25th July - DARTFORD
Saturday 28th July - Thamesmead Town
Long serving midfielder Stuart Broadley who has clocked up over 300 appearances for the Suffolk side was thought to be leaving Victory Road this summer. However, Broadley has now taken up the Assistant Manger's job and will also continue to play for Leiston during the 2015/16 campaign. They have three pre-season friendly games arranged with trips to Brantham Athletic (Tuesday 14th July) and Hadleigh United (Friday 17th July) along with a home game versus National League North side Lowestoft Town on Wednesday 22nd July.
Steve Brown has been appointed full time manager after joining the club as interim manager in February. He will assisted by Jay Lovett who played 98 times for the club between 2003 to 2006 and spent last season with Eastbourne Borough and Metropolitan Police.
Not much news coming from Moatside at present. Mertsham are managed by Hayden Bird and will play at Step 3 of the non-league for the first time in their history for the 2015/16 campaign. Their ground is a short walk from the Town's train station which makes it a great game for an away day - A journey time of just over 30 minutes to London Bridge or London Victoria (with a change at East Croydon) sounds much better than braving the M25 traffic, of which junction 7 is very close to Mertsham.
There is no news at present from Imber Court in respect of pre-season games or any player movement aside for Jay Lovett's aforementioned move to Lewes.
Following their promotion from Division One (North) Manager Mark Morlsey has signed a new five year contract at Bloomfields. He had signed a four year deal back in February 2013 but has shown his commitment to the club and them to him by agreeing the new deal.
The Swans have two friendly games arranged with Woking (Tuesday 14th July) and Wealdstone (Saturday 18th July) visiting Wheatsheaf Park. A Former Premier League defender will continue playing for Nicky Forster's side for the forthcoming campaign. Darren Purse made ten appearances for the club towards the end of last season. At 38 years old he brings with him a wealth of experience having played for Leyton Orient, BF-IFK, Oxford United, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall, Yeovil Town, Plymouth Argyle, Port Vale, IFK Mariehamn, Chesham United and Welling United during his career which started back in 1994.
Steve McKimm has signed goalkeeper Anthony Di Bernado from Peacehaven and Telscombe and Luke Blewden who scored nine goals in nineteen starts for Lewes last season. Angels have the following games lined up for their pre-season preparations -
Tuesday 7th July - Whyteleafe
Saturday 11th July - GILLINGHAM
Tuesday 14th July - Sevenoaks Town
Saturday 18th July - AFC WIMBLEDON
Tuesday 21st July - EBBSFLEET UNITED
Saturday 1st August - Dorking Wanderers
Former Thamesmead Town boss Keith McMahon is the new VCD manager following the departure of Tony Russell to Division One (North) side Cray Wanderers. McMahon is no stranger to Oakwood having been Assistant Manager and under 18 manager a few years back. Ashley Probets, who spent many seasons with McMahon at Thamesmead, has joined the club along with the impressive signing of 22 year old Niko Muir who scored 28 goals for Northwood in the Evo Stik Division One (Central) last season. Lewis Dark (ex of Witham Town, Maldon and Tiptree and Grays Athletic) has also signed along with right midfielder Ryan Palmer.
Ebbsfleet United visit Oakwood on Tuesday 14th July before new National League side Bromley travel on Saturday 18th July.
WINGATE AND FINCHLEY
There has been a change in the management structure at The Harry Abrahams Stadium with Simon Lane coming in as new Director of Football. Lane will be in charge of the first team management and the club's youth development programme. Lane is a UEFA 'A' qualified coach and joins after spending many years as first team coach with Maidenhead United. He has also managed Windsor and Eton, Berkhamsted Town and Nexxar Lions (Malta) as well as scouting for AFC Wimbledon. He is also holds a UEFA Academy manager's licence so seems a very good appointment for the future development of players at Wingate and Finchley. Last seasons Director of Football Daniel Neilsen is staying at the club as first team coach.
Lane has already brought two players to the club in Martel Powell and Jevani Brown - both midfielder players from Arlesey Town. Powell worked with Lane at Maidenhead United and was an Arsenal trainee with Brown being a former professional with Peterborough United.
The new Ryman League season is scheduled to start on Saturday 8th August.