Men's First Team Squad update

Men's First Team Squad update

Three players depart whilst four return for the 2020/21 season

Stuart Fuller
Credit:
Stuart Fuller

With the easing of the of the restrictions on outdoor sports, Hugo and his management team have been starting their preparation for the new season, which is we could have news on in the next few weeks once the FA have published up to date guidelines.

Firstly, you will notice a new face in the dugout when we restart with Hugo and Dale this season as they will be joined by Tony Beckingham.  Tony has a wealth of experience around the Isthmian Leagues having been manager at Chatham Town, Hythe Town and Phoenix Sports.

Hugo had already announced that four members of our successful U18s squad from the previous two seasons would be stepping up to the first team squad.  Brad Santos and Nic D’Arienzo made appearances from the bench last season, whilst James Beresford yet to make his debut for the Rooks.  The last member of the quartet, Tegan Freeman, made a dozen first team appearances last season including a fantastic debut goal in the League cup tie against Sevenoaks Town.  

In terms of returning players from last season, stalwart Alex Malins will be back at the Pan for another season and we can all look forward to seeing the ball-playing centre-back at his best come the start of the season.  Two more long-serving players who are back at The Pan for the new campaign are Leon Redwood and Ronnie Conlon.  Leon battled back from injury last season to make 25 appearances for the Rooks and we look forward to seeing him marauding down the left-hand side again. Fans favourite Ronnie recovered from injury in early 2020 and came back with a bang towards the end of campaign with a stunning goal away at Wingate & Finchley.

Finally, we are very pleased to welcome Aaron Cosgrave back for this season.  Aaron joined us from Welling United in February and his energetic performances was one of the catalysts for the change in fortunes in the final games of the season.  

Manager Hugo Langton is pleased with how the squad is taking shape.

“I’m delighted to have agreed terms with all these players. This is a mixture of promoting youth and retaining familiar key faces. Aaron will be now joining us permanently which I am obviously very pleased about.  Tony is a great addition for Dale and I. He brings a slightly different skill set to what we already have and that will really help us. I’ve known Tony a long time and he has a lot of experience which will only benefit us all”

As some of you will be aware, youngster Harry Reed has decided to join Burgess Hill Town in pursuit of regular first team football.  Harry came through our Academy and made is first team debut three seasons ago and was an integral part of the squad that won promotion from the Isthmian League South in 2018.

We are also very sad to see Frankie Chappell decide to leave the club after three seasons and 133 appearances with the Rooks (6 goals).  Frankie was hugely popular on and off the field, a natural leader, club captain and week after week a genuinely outstanding defender since joining in the summer of 2016 from Folkestone Invicta. We wish him the very best as he moves onto pastures new.    

Finally, James Hammond, scorer of our goal of the season in 2019/20 has agreed to join National League South side Eastbourne Borough for an undisclosed fee. Hammond played 199 games for the Rooks and scored 32 goals since joining the club back in 2015. Whilst James still had a year to go on his contract, he wanted to play at a higher level and Eastbourne, under former Rooks boss Danny Bloor, offered him that chance.

Chairman Stuart Fuller expressed his gratitude for the three departures.

"It is always sad seeing players like Frankie, Harry and Hammo leaving. I spoke to each personally during the summer and know that in each instance there were different circumstances that lead them to decide to leave. All three served the club brilliantly and were great ambassadors for the Rooks. We will certainly miss them on and off the pitch"

More squad news to follow later next week

With the easing of the of the restrictions on outdoor sports, Hugo and his management team have been starting their preparation for the new season, which is we could have news on in the next few weeks once the FA have published up to date guidelines.

Firstly, you will notice a new face in the dugout when we restart with Hugo and Dale this season as they will be joined by Tony Beckingham.  Tony has a wealth of experience around the Isthmian Leagues having been manager at Chatham Town, Hythe Town and Phoenix Sports.

Hugo had already announced that four members of our successful U18s squad from the previous two seasons would be stepping up to the first team squad.  Brad Santos and Nic D’Arienzo made appearances from the bench last season, whilst James Beresford yet to make his debut for the Rooks.  The last member of the quartet, Tegan Freeman, made a dozen first team appearances last season including a fantastic debut goal in the League cup tie against Sevenoaks Town.  

In terms of returning players from last season, stalwart Alex Malins will be back at the Pan for another season and we can all look forward to seeing the ball-playing centre-back at his best come the start of the season.  Two more long-serving players who are back at The Pan for the new campaign are Leon Redwood and Ronnie Conlon.  Leon battled back from injury last season to make 25 appearances for the Rooks and we look forward to seeing him marauding down the left-hand side again. Fans favourite Ronnie recovered from injury in early 2020 and came back with a bang towards the end of campaign with a stunning goal away at Wingate & Finchley.

Finally, we are very pleased to welcome Aaron Cosgrave back for this season.  Aaron joined us from Welling United in February and his energetic performances was one of the catalysts for the change in fortunes in the final games of the season.  

Manager Hugo Langton is pleased with how the squad is taking shape.

“I’m delighted to have agreed terms with all these players. This is a mixture of promoting youth and retaining familiar key faces. Aaron will be now joining us permanently which I am obviously very pleased about.  Tony is a great addition for Dale and I. He brings a slightly different skill set to what we already have and that will really help us. I’ve known Tony a long time and he has a lot of experience which will only benefit us all”

As some of you will be aware, youngster Harry Reed has decided to join Burgess Hill Town in pursuit of regular first team football.  Harry came through our Academy and made is first team debut three seasons ago and was an integral part of the squad that won promotion from the Isthmian League South in 2018.

We are also very sad to see Frankie Chappell decide to leave the club after three seasons and 133 appearances with the Rooks (6 goals).  Frankie was hugely popular on and off the field, a natural leader, club captain and week after week a genuinely outstanding defender since joining in the summer of 2016 from Folkestone Invicta. We wish him the very best as he moves onto pastures new.    

Finally, James Hammond, scorer of our goal of the season in 2019/20 has agreed to join National League South side Eastbourne Borough for an undisclosed fee. Hammond played 199 games for the Rooks and scored 32 goals since joining the club back in 2015. Whilst James still had a year to go on his contract, he wanted to play at a higher level and Eastbourne, under former Rooks boss Danny Bloor, offered him that chance.

Chairman Stuart Fuller expressed his gratitude for the three departures.

"It is always sad seeing players like Frankie, Harry and Hammo leaving. I spoke to each personally during the summer and know that in each instance there were different circumstances that lead them to decide to leave. All three served the club brilliantly and were great ambassadors for the Rooks. We will certainly miss them on and off the pitch"

More squad news to follow later next week