St Neots Town manager Matt Clements is confident his latest signing can take a two-step leap in his stride.
Clements has completed the capture of Matty Miles from lower-level neighbours Eynesbury Rovers following a series of pleasing performances in pre-season friendlies.
Miles, who can operate as a right-back or central midfielder, was released by Premiership club Leicester City last summer after rising through their youth system. He played against St Neots for Rovers in last season’s Hunts Senior Cup final – a match Saints won 6-1.
Now Clements is hopeful he can help the 21 year-old climb back up the footballing ladder.
He said: “Matty has played in all three of our friendlies so far and has done very well.
“He is the type of player we like to bring to the club – he’s young, he’s got a good pedigree and he is hungry to progress in the game.
“Matty also fits the bill because he is very athletic and that’s hugely important for a full-back given the way we like to play expansive and exciting football.
“They’re not just on the pitch to defend and have an important attacking role to play as well.
“He is also adaptable in that he can sit in midfield and versatility is important to us when trying to build the best squad we possibly can on the budget we have.”
Two of Saints’ other new signings this summer – defender Jack Keeble and attacking talent Claudio Ofosu – have also been released by professional clubs. They were at League Two sides Grimsby and Stevenage respectively.
Clements has also signed midfielder James Peters during the close season and is still hopeful of adding another forward to his ranks.
Saints actually face Stevenage tomorrow night (Tuesday) in their fourth friendly of the summer after being beaten 7-1 by Cambridge United, 5-1 by MK Dons and 4-0 by Peterborough United so far.
Clements liked much of what he saw from his side in the last of those games on Saturday when all of the League One outfit’s goals arrived in the second half.
He added: “I was really pleased with what we produced in the first half when having our strongest available side on the pitch.
“We looked dangerous at times when we had the ball, while our shape and work-ethic off it were both very pleasing.
“We did start to look a bit disjointed when making a lot of changes in the second half, but that’s entirely understandable.
“We know it is always going to be very tough for us when playing Football League opposition, but we’ve progressed from game to game and that pleases me.”
Goalkeeper Dan Swan impressed for Saints. He is battling with Harry Reynolds to become the club’s new number one.
Reynolds played no part against Posh after being hurt in the warm-up.
Saints have no fixture this Saturday but go to Haverhill Rovers next Tuesday.