Neots unveil new signings as pre-season kicks off

ST NEOTS Town began pre-season training on Saturday, with three new faces joining the squad that finished second in last year’s UCL Premier Division.

ST NEOTS Town began pre-season training on Saturday, with three new faces joining the squad that finished second in last year’s UCL Premier Division.

The club have confirmed that Will Fordham, Junior Kanuda and Lee Bassett have signed to bolster the Saints, with the majority of last season’s first-team squad also re-signing for the new campaign.

The highest-profile signing is that of Fordham, who has made the switch from St Ives Town, where he had more than 400 appearances and the captain’s armband to his name. The centre-half will add a strong physical presence and a competition for places to the heart of the Neots defence.

Chairman John Delaney said: “There probably isn’t a side in the UCL who would not want Will in their team, so we are delighted to have brought him to the club. He has an awful lot of experience, but is still a player with many years left in him.”

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Midfielder Junior Kanuda was scouted playing park football two years ago by Neots assistant manager Dennis Greene, who took him to Hemel Hempstead before Kanuda joined Dagenham and Redbridge, where he won a one-year contract from John Still.

A broken leg forced him out of the game for a year, but he will be looking to rebuild his career with St Neots.

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Delaney said: “He’s an extremely skilful player, and one who is going to excite the fans next season. Junior is capable of playing at a higher level, but is on the comeback trail as he recovers from his injury.”

Striker Lee Bassett has made the step up from the Neots reserve team, where he finished last season as the manager’s player of the year and was named fans’ favourite.

“There aren’t many better local strikers than Lee,” said Delaney. “He’s 6ft 2in, is strong and is good in the air, so we think he’s got plenty of goals in him. It’ll be a test for him to make the step up, but we’re confident he can do it.”

Saints also announced that the majority of last season’s first-team squad have been re-signed for next year, with the club offering contracts to more than half.

Delaney said: “With the first team ending last season with a run of 28 games unbeaten and the Reserves also enjoying an unbeaten run in excess of 20 games, it’s our view that we do not need to make major changes.

“With this in mind we had gained commitment from the majority of last season’s first team squad before the end of last season.

“We’ve been able to offer the players contracts to show our commitment to them. It will also add a level of security, and make sure we can keep this squad together in the long-term.”

Delaney added: “Judging from how the players performed in training on Saturday morning, it’s obvious that the togetherness from last season is still there, as everyone was buzzing. They were even smiling at the end of the session.”

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