Old and new names sign as Daniels take shape

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THE Daniels team for 2012-13 is starting to take shape with a series of players signing for Stamford this week.

Fans will recognise old and new faces among the squad including striker Gary King, who left following the departure of former manager Simon Clark last autumn.

Stamford have also signed 25-year-old goalkeeper Rob Murray from last season’s Evo-Stik League First Division South champions Grantham Town.

Stamford boss Graham Drury said: “Rob has a real presence between the sticks. He is vocal and a good organiser.

“He knows how to keep clean sheets and what he needs from the players around him to help him do that. Most importantly though, he knows what it takes to get promoted from this division and I’m expecting him to play a big role here.

Grantham’s league triumph last season was built around a solid back line, which conceded just 44 goals in 42 matches, and Drury added: “I was surprised to learn he was available so we moved very quickly to sign him; it is a real coup for us.”

As well as King and Murray, Stamford confirmed the signature off fans’ favourite David Staff, defender Paul Mayo and another returning ex-Daniel Greg Smith this week.

The Stamford boss said: “The squad is coming together nicely. I am pleased with the level of experience we’ve got between the players who have signed so far and I know the fans are going to be excited by the other signings we have in the pipeline.

“I am hoping that by early next week we will have sorted out a couple more players.

I want to bring some promising youngsters into this mix to give us the right blend and I’m really pleased with the response we’ve had from conversations so far with a number of players.

“The people we are talking too can see that Stamford is a progressive club and somewhere they’d like to play their football.”

Midfielder Staff re-signed midweek and Drury said: “Staffy is a top footballer with bags of energy and character and I am so pleased to have him around the Premier Kitchens Arena.

“Along with players like Paul Mayo, their experience and knowledge will prove influential on the talented younger players in the squad”.

Staff said: “I am delighted to be staying at the club and look forward to pre-season training and contributing to Grahams plans.”

Many of last season’s squad are expected to move on following the departure of Tommy Brookbanks, including last season’s top scorer Bruno Holden and Drury has moved quickly to secure the services to proven goalscorers.

“I am really pleased to have secured both Gary and Gregg,” he said. “Both lads have played for me previously.

“Gary has Conference North experience after joining Corby late last season and contributing four goals. He worked hard and was one of our most effective players going forward.

“He enjoyed his spell at Stamford early last season and is pleased to re-sign for the club at an exciting time”.

Smith had spells at Spalding and Corby last season, scoring an impressive hat-trick against his new club in a pre-season match.

“Greg and I know each other well,” added Drury.

“He is an effective target player at Evo-stik level. I am delighted he has joined us so early, which will allow him to work hard in training, preparing for our pre-season matches and league campaign.”

Mayo is another player to follow Drury from Corby Town. The 30-year-old has agreed to team up with boss Graham Drury again, after enjoying two successful spells under his guidance with the Steelmen.

The left-footed defender, who can also operate on the left side of midfield, started his career with Lincoln City and went on to play over 150 games for the Imps.

He also appeared for Watford, Notts County and Darlington in the Football League and was also part of a successful Gainsborough Trinity team in the Blue Square Bet North, in between his two spells with Corby.

“I am delighted that Paul has turned down some bigger and better offers to be a part of what we are looking to achieve at Stamford,” said the Stamford boss.

“It is great he has agreed to stay and play for me again.

“I know how much he enjoys playing the style of football my teams do and he’ll be a big asset to us; he is a pleasure to work with.

“He will be massive for us, on and off the pitch.

“He has a lot of experience and that will benefit the team but he is also a great character in the changing rooms.”