TOMMY WRIGHT will unveil his new-look Stratford Town when he takes charge for the first time in the opening pre-season fixture at Yeovil Town on Saturday.
The new manager has continued his summer signings by being reunited with striker Callum Ball, recruiting forward Joel Gyasi and keepers Brandon Grandley and Elliott Taylor and welcoming back goal-getter Nabil Shariff and utility player Kynan Isaac.
The trip to Yeovil, relegated from League Two last term, was added this week to kick off a sequence of nine warm-up games. Town also head to neighbours Alcester Town next Friday (7pm), following a trip to Racing Club Warwick on Tuesday and before a home clash with Cheltenham Town next Saturday.
Ball will be no stranger to Wright, having played for him at Corby Town and Nuneaton. The 26-year-old has Championship experience with Derby County, making nearly 30 appearances, as well as playing in the Scottish Premiership with St Mirren.
“Callum is a player that I have worked with previously at both Corby and Nuneaton,” Wright told the Town official website.
“Bally is a very good target man and will give the team a different option and platform to build from.”
Pacy wide player Gyasi will add another attacking option, having had spells at Kettering Town, AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Bedford Town.
Goalkeepers Grandley and Taylor have also been signed and will compete with Sam Lomax, another summer addition, for the No 1 jersey.
Isaac played 41 times for Town last season, including scoring the winner to seal the League Challenge Cup final victory against Cinderford.
Wright said: “He is a player who made a big impression last season and we will be looking to get even more from him this coming season. He can play anywhere down the left and gives us a lot of quality.”
Shariff, who netted five times in 31 appearances for Town last term, had seemed set to switch to Banbury United, one of his former clubs, but he has confirmed he will be part of Stratford’s plans.
“I briefly worked with Nabil in my first season as a player/manager at Corby Town. He is now more experienced and I’m looking forward to working with him again,” said Wright.
“Nabil gives us a great option as a central striker or wide player and is someone who is a handful at this level.”
The club, who are running the rule over more than 20 trialists, are also in talks with a central defender and central midfielder, who could both feature on Saturday.
FRIENDLIES: Sat July 6 v Yeovil Town, A (3pm); Tues July 9 v Racing Club Warwick, A (7.45pm); Fri July 12 v Alcester Town, A (7pm); Sat July 13 v Cheltenham Town, H (3pm); Tues July 16 v Worcester City, H (7.45pm); Sat July 20 v Aston Villa, H (3pm); Sat July 27 v Brackley Town, H (3pm); Wed July 31 v Corby Town, A (7.45pm); Tues Aug 6 v Evesham United, H (7.45pm).