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‘New signings will make sure we are competitive’ says Stowmarket boss

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BUSY MAN: Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews
BUSY MAN: Stowmarket Town manager Rick Andrews

Rick Andrews says the arrival of five new summer signings will ensure Stowmarket Town are competitive in their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

The Old Gold and Blacks boss has been busy in the close season, bolstering the squad which won the First Division title in April with the addition of five new players over the last fortnight.

Ex-professional Scott Mitchell, former Needham Market and Leiston midfielder Angelo Harrop, Walsham-le-Willows goal machine Andrew Wood and Leiston defender Ollie Brown have all agreed one-year deals with the club, with Stanway Rovers defender Jemel Fox becoming the fifth arrival at Greens Meadow yesterday.

“I’m very pleased,” Andrews said. “We had areas which we wanted to strengthen in from last season and we’ve done that.

“We’ve got a great balance to the squad. We’re the new boys (in the Premier Division) but we want to compete.

“We don’t want to make the numbers up. We want to show how far Stow have come in the last few years, but we know it’s not going to be easy.

“If we play to the best of our abilities then I think we have no one to fear in that league.

“We’ll need to be on top of our game, as we all know from last year, if you’re not on your game you will get punished.”

Andrews was set to meet up with the players he had yet to speak to from last season’s title-winning squad last night, and was hopeful of keeping hold of the majority of them.

As well as helping to win the club its first league title in 66 years, and with it the first promotion in their history, last season’s Stow squad also broke numerous club records, including: most goals scored, least goals conceded, most wins, least defeats and most points accrued in a single Thurlow Nunn League season.

“Getting in the Premier Division is huge for us,” Andrews said. “Players want to be at an ambitious club.

“We won the league last season, which was fantastic for the club, and league titles don’t come round very often.

“We felt we needed more quality if we wanted to progress higher and I think there is enough interest at the club now to go even higher than where we are at.”