Eastbourne Borough have wrapped up four new signings and agreed terms with three more of last season's squad as their roster for 2011-12 begins to take shape.
Goalkeeper Rikki Banks, defender Gary Elphick and long-serving winger Matt Crabb have all put pen to paper on new deals and are joined by four new faces.
Competing with Banks for the number one jersey will be 24-year-old Clark Masters, who played 25 times in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season for Barrow. The Hastings-born shot-stopper played youth team football for Brighton & Hove Albion and Gillingham before signing his first professional deal with Brentford in 2004. He made 12 appearances in four years for the Bees, and enjoyed loans in non-league with Redbridge, Slough Town, AFC Wimbledon and Welling United. After leaving Brentford, he spent short spells with Southend United, Stevenage Borough and Aldershot Town before joining Hayes & Yeading United in 2010. He made 15 appearances for United but finished the 2009-10 season at his hometown club Hastings United. Masters spent a trial period with Borough during the 2010-11 pre-season but ended up spending the majority of that season at Barrow.
Left-back Sonny Cobbs has made the short switch from Lewes. The 22-year-old former Brighton trainee, who can also play in midfield, has also played for Welling United and Sutton United and ended last season on-loan at Burgess Hill Town.
Striker Carl Rook, 28, joins from Blue Square Bet South rivals Dartford. His previous clubs include Kent sides Sittingbourne, Deal Town, Whitstable Town, Folkestone Invicta and Dover Athletic, but he also played in Sussex for Hastings United and Horsham. He followed Hornets manager Tommy Warrilow from Horsham to Tonbridge Angels in December 2007, for a reported £10,000 fee, and went on to score more than 70 goals in a little over 100 appearances. He then joined Dartford in January 2010 for an undisclosed fee but ended the 2010-11 season back at Tonbridge Angels on loan, prior to being released by the Darts.
Another former Horsham player joining Borough is Gary Charman. The versatile midfielder progressed from the Hornets' youth team to become a regular fixture in the first XI for more than a decade, passing 500 appearances last season. A two-footed winger who attained legendary status with the Hornets, Charman had a brief spell at Walton & Hersham in 2005-06 before returning to his hometown club. He has now however decided to take up the challenge of playing at a higher level.
Welcome all to Priory Lane.
Discussions also continue with 2010/11 squad members and potential new recruits.