BOSS Paul Harris has backed fit-again Will Stallard to help showcase the growing quality within Pershore Town’s ranks.
Key man Stallard, whose suffered a nightmare time last season with a knee injury, has committed himself to the Plums among a raft of new recruits plus familiar faces to feature in pre-season training.
Harris, appointed manager after Quentin Townsend left in the summer, this week confirmed ten new additions and the return of a further four players from last term’s ranks and says he has been delighted with the reaction from his reshaped squad.
“Pre-season has been superb so far,” said Harris, who had been part of Townsend’s backroom team. “I’ve been delighted by the number of players turning up for training and the quality of the players.
“For the first training session, we had 40 players and we have whittled that down to 22. It’s gone better than I could have anticipated. It shows the respect there is for the club that so many local, quality players want to play for us.”
The return of former Worcester City youngster Stallard – following skipper Dave Wilson and goalkeeper Toby Wilcox – will be a big boost at the heart of the team.
“It’s great news,” said Harris. “He had a few injuries but he is 100 per cent fully fit and we know he is a quality player.”
Pershore, who will play in the West Midlands League Premier Division next season, have also welcomed back Jordan Hayward, Joe Bevan and Chris Goode from last term’s squad.
There will be plenty of new recruits too. Right-back Rhys Curran, centre-back James Morgan, utility player Neil Taylor, winger Ameer Khan, attacking midfielder Josh Powell and brother Andrew Powell, a goalkeeper, will step up from local football, while midfielder Harrison Blood and playmaker Josh Hughes came through the Worcester City youth ranks.
Centre-half George Corbett, who has played for Littleton and Malvern Town, plus Luke Harris, the manager’s son who was formerly with Worcester, have also signed up. Harris will also act as player-coach.
Pershore, meanwhile, will play two games in 24 hours when they begin their warm-up matches.
The Plums, who start at home to Welland on Friday, July 20, have added a new fixture away to Midland League Division One side Cadbury Athletic on the Saturday afternoon.