PAUL COLLICUTT has convinced highly sought-after striker Paul Fahy to join Evesham United despite interest from a posse of rival clubs.
Cirencester Town, Yate Town and Shortwood United had all been interested in the young front-runner after his goalscoring exploits with Slimbridge.
Fahy featured for Cirencester in their friendly against Partick Thistle but Robins boss Collicutt has been delighted to persuade him that his future lies at the Jubilee Stadium.
“Paul is a young lad, 21-22 years of age, he is an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to working with him,” said Collicutt.
“I’ve been watching him for two or three seasons and both myself and (assistant) Gerry Oldham believe he will be a good addition to the squad.
“He has had a few offers from other clubs but we’ve told him what we’re trying to do at Evesham and he likes what he’s seen. He likes what the club is about.
“He wants to come to Evesham and become a better player. He will bring a lot of energy to the side and, hopefully, a few goals as well.”
Collicutt had put bolstering the Robins’ goalscoring record top of his summer priorities and he believes Fahy will provide an extra threat.
The Robins, who just missed out on the Southern League Division One South & West play-offs last term, begin the countdown to the new season with two friendlies in two days this week.
Evesham entertain Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night (Thursday) and then make the trip to Pershore Town on Friday evening.
With just three training sessions under their belt so far, the Robins see both matches as the chance to test their fitness.
The visit of National League professional side Forest Green Rovers, who lost in the play-off final after being runners-up to Cheltenham Town, will certainly do that.
It will be Forest Green’s first match under new boss Mark Cooper – the former Birmingham City player and ex-Tamworth, Kettering and Swindon Town manager – and Collicutt has huge respect for how the Gloucestershire side, under ambitious chairman Dale Vince, has established itself as one of non-league’s top sides.
As well as playing for Forest Green, Collicutt had a spell as assistant manager.
“Not that long ago, Evesham and Forest Green were in the same league, but they have grown and grown and have done excellently in recent seasons,” said Collicutt.
“They’ve got a chairman who has certainly put his money into the club and Mark Cooper has come in as manager and has a very good reputation. He likes to play football the right way.
“It will be the first time Forest Green have visited the Jubilee and it will be a real test for the lads. We’ve only had three training sessions and they are a full-time team.
“With the friendlies coming up, I’ll have the chance to try a few things, different formations, players in different positions and learn about the new players.
“However, the main thing in pre-season is fitness.”
After Forest Green and the trip to Midland League Division One side Pershore, Evesham then have a showpiece clash at the Jubilee on Tuesday against League Two newcomers Cheltenham.