ADAM FLANAGAN is delighted with the signing of three potential stars for Concord Rangers.
The new Beachboys boss has already made his mark on the squad with the capture of East Thurrock skipper Tom Stephen, goalkeeper Conor Gough from Grays, and attacking midfielder Sam Bantick from Brentwood Town.
The signing of Stephen, 22, is a real coup and will provide competition at left-back for Danny Glozier, who has just agreed to stay on with Rangers again next season but will miss much of pre-season through work and personal commitments.
Stephen (pictured above by Mickey Cartwright) is a long-serving member of John Coventry?s successful Rocks side and looks ready made to make the step up from the Ryman Premier to Vanarama South.
Flanagan said: ?I think many in the local game know what quality Tom has got but now he needs to come in and prove he can do it at Conference level.?
Gough, 21, will try to fill to the void left between the sticks by last season?s Players? Player of the Year, Josh Vickers. The Arsenal keeper was at Concord on loan but has now returned to his parent club.
Flanagan said: ?Josh was great for Concord but it was widely accepted he is a League player in the making.
?But we have high hopes for Conor, who was Grays? young player of the year for last season.?
Keeper Jamie Butler, who missed much of last season with a knee injury, is yet to decide if he will return to Rangers for the next campaign.
Midfielder Bantick, 23, played under new Concord manager Adam Flanagan in his Ryman One North play-off winning Brentwood Town side last season.
Flanagan said: ?I think last year was his first full season in non league and he did brilliantly with 18 goals and about 30 assists.
?He has a lot of quality and I know Chelmsford were interested too, so he is a real prospect who now needs to also prove he can make the step up.?
* Concord have now confirmed five pre-season games with more expected to follow. They are:
Saturday, July 11 (A) Brightlingsea Regent
Saturday, July 18 (A) Harlow Town
Tuesday, July 21 (A) Great Wakering Rovers
Friday, July 24 (H) Cambridge United
Wednesday, July 29 (H) Grays Athletic