THE close season may only just have started but East Thurrock United’ promotion and award-winning boss John Coventry has been busy assembling a squad for his side’s forthcoming Ryman Premier challenge.
Coventry, who guided Rocks to the Division One North championship and was acclaimed manager of the year will go into the new season without a couple of familiar faces, but has already clinched the keynote signing of midfielder Greg Cohen.
He will come into the side as a direct replacement for Max Cornhill, who has joined Blue Square Bet South Chelmsford City after several campaigns with Rocks, winning a host of club awards in the season just finished.
“Max is a fantastic young player and he has been a great servant to this club. He thoroughly deserves his shot at a higher level and I am confident he will make his mark there. I’d like to thank him for his loyalty to me and to East Thurrock and he leaves with everyone’s very best wishes.” said Coventry.
Also leaving Rookery Hill is young goalscoring midfielder Kris Newby, who netted 27 times last season.
“I have decided I will not be signing Kris for the coming season and would like to thank him for the last three and a half years when he has been excellent for me and his goals last season were a massive part of our championship season. I wish him all the best wherever he plays,” said Coventry.
Cohen, who arrives at East Thurrock having missed last season while travelling, enjoyed a hugely successful campaign the season before with Canvey island, and before that a triumphant, cup-winning one with Tilbury.
“I’d like to offer a special welcome to Greg who will be a great replacement for Max. he’s a signing for us right out of the top drawer and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I’d also like to welcome Tom Stephen, a young left-sided player who was Redbridge’s player of the season last time out and someone who, in my opinion has a great fguture ahead of him,” said the Rocks boss who added he has agreed terms with 12 of last season’s squad with Richard Wray, Ryan Sammons, Joe Keith, Ben Wood, Steve Sheehan, Simon Peddie, Stanley Muguo, Kye Ruel, Neil Richmond, Michael Ramkin, Reiss Gilbey and Sam Higgins all committing themselves to the Rocks cause, as is youngster Tom Dodkins who returns to the first team fold after a loan season with Bowers & Pitsea.
East Thurrock have also arranged their pre-season programme which is: Tuesday, 19 July (A) Witham Town; Friday, 22 July (A) Aveley; Tuesday, 26 July (H) Dover; Tuesday, 2 August (H) Dartford; Thursday, 4 August (A) Burnham Ramblers; Saturday August 6 (A) Thamesmead Town; Tuesday, 9 August (A) Tilbury; Saturday, 13 August (A) Waltham Abbey; Tuesday, 16 August (H) Enfield Town.
The new league season starts on Saturday, 20. August.