Clarke’s experience will be crucial for Stamford

Lee Clarke has signed for Stamford.
Lee Clarke has signed for Stamford.
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Boss Graham Drury believes the experience of new signing Lee Clarke will prove invaluable to the Daniels.

Clarke put pen to paper for Stamford this week after leaving his role as player-coach at St Neots at the end of September.

The 34-year-old, who is the son of former Northern Ireland international Colin Clarke, has enjoyed a goal-laden non-league career with prolific spells in the Conference South for St Albans and Welling United after leaving Peterborough United.

He was top scorer for two seasons in the Conference South while helping the Saints gain promotion to the Conference National.

Clarke then joined Welling who he captained to the Conference South title and Drury was delighted to land the former Northern Ireland Under 21 international.

He said: “Lee brings a wealth of experience. Sometimes we can be quiet as a team, but Lee will bring an extra voice onto the pitch.

“He’s happy to play down the middle or drop deeper if we play a diamond so he’ll be a really good acquisition.”

Stamford aim to extend their six-match unbeaten run when they host Lincoln United in the EvoStik Division One South on Saturday.

The Whites have made an indifferent start but, with the likes of ex-Stamford players Andy Toyne and Danny Brooks in their ranks, always provide a tough nut to crack.

Drury commented: “They’ve had a tough start, but they’ve always been a bit of a bogey side for us.

“They have got plenty of potential, but don’t seem to be playing to it each week which must be frustrating.

“It won’t be an easy game, but we need to try and keep our run going which we will be more than capable of doing.”

In-form defender Eliot Putman misses the next three Saturday matches, but midfielder Jake Duffy is in contention to return from injury.

Drury added: “Eliot has been superb. It means we are going to have to change the back four which could affect the balance, but we need to be professional and organised again like recent weeks.”

Saturday’s home match is followed on Tuesday night by an Integro League Cup clash against Peterborough Sports at the Zeeco Stadium.

Midfielder Joe Burgess is hoping to start his comeback from injury in that match while Stamford could utilise the likes of Danny Draper and Curtis Hartley, who have been out on loan, in the first round match (7.45ko).