Badshot Lea are serious about chasing honours this season – they have announced no fewer than four new signings to bolster their squad.
And that is despite starting the Combined Counties Premier South season with five wins on the bounce – one of only two cubs to have a 100 per cent record.
They have snapped up energetic midfielder James Whiting, highly-rated striker Tane Caubo, keeper Dease Kerrison and midfielder George Crossett.
Co-manager Gavin Smith was delighted with the week’s business and said: “We now hav a really good squad.
“James played for us before going out to Finland and playing for a club there. They made him a great offer and he’s had a brilliant time – but we always knew he was coming back this month.
“His side made the play-offs and he said he enjoyed it out there – although it was a bit cold!
“We’re glad to have him back as he did well for us last year – he has energy and quality and having him back is a real bonus.
“We didn’t want Tane to leave us after last season but things with his job are better now, and he has returned after a spell at Balham.
“They haven’t started the season too well and we thought we’d try our luck and see if he wanted to come back. He’ll add good competition – we have good options up front now.
“It’s good to have players on the bench who can go on and make a difference. It’s always hard for players who aren’t selected for the team but I’m hoping all the players buy into what is needed.
“Dease has played a couple of games for us before and was at Abbey last season, but he wants to get into goalkeeper coaching – so he’s here to do some of that as well as be a back-up for Craig Bradshaw.
“George Crossett is in the Army and trained at Farnham in pre-season, but he has been training with us. He is based in Aldershot and he’ll add competition to midfield. We have a player in the Army, one in the police and a fireman – we just need someone in the ambulance service and we have the set.
“To be honest, at one point in the summer I thought we may struggle to attract players. Pre-season was a nightmare getting players out, but then all of a sudden it all came together.
“We had to be patient – which is sometimes tricky and not nice – but now we have 22 players.
“And it’s a strong squad – we have good young players who we may let out to get some minutes elsewhere.
“It’s good to have a squad strong enough that if we need to call on someone, they are already here – we don’t have to go out to other clubs to try to bring in new players.
“It may be one of the advantages of making such a good start to the season. Would Tane have agreed to come back if we were struggling? Probably not.
“If you can get a good start, it rally helps. But we know we are going to lose some time – we have a tough game on Saturday at Raynes Park, then we have an FA Vase tie at home to Shaftesbury, then we go to Colliers Wood, who like us have started very well.
“You never know what is going to happen but we are very confident with the group we have now. I don’t think we need anyone else – we are pretty much sorted.
“Now we just have to keep all the players happy. Players always say they want to be part of a team doing well, but when it comes to it, and they’re on the bench for a couple of weeks because someone else is doing well, then it’s a test for their mentality.
“What do they want? To be part of something successful or play every week regardless?
“Last year we were lucky because everything fell into place – we had five centre backs but we never had everyone available for a combination of reasons so everyone got a game.
“The test is when we have 16 available – are they all going to stick around?”