Daniels taking shape for new season

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THE Daniels pre-season training began on Saturday with a core of players from last season’s squad bolstered by several summer signings.

Last season’s top goalscorer Lee Beeson will stays on at the Vic Couzens Stadium after rejecting overtures from a Conference side, as will last year’s player of the season, Andy Toyne who was also approached by other clubs.

Skipper Miles Chamberlain, Dan Cotton, Matt Cook, Nick Jackson, Stuart King, Dean Oliver and Seth Burkett have also all re-signed for the club.

Former Hinkley striker, Gary King, who was briefly with Stamford last season has rejoined the club and Daniels boss Simon Clark is looking at a trialist Hungarian striker.

Clark has recruited Gavin Saxby to take over in goal following the departure of Chris Wright. Further recruits are Jake Gibson, Sean Cann, Danny Brooks and Michael Jacklin with four more players due to attend training on Tuesday, having agreed terms with the club.

Former Daniel, Danny Steadman is training with the squad and stars of last seasons’ youth team, Craig Hill and Jake Walton, have been invited to claim a squad place.

Clark said: “We were well aware that we needed to boost our attack during the summer and we have managed to bring in a couple of very decent players.

“We saw a little glimpse of Gary last season before he had the chance to go to a higher level. He was keen to come back and is someone I am expecting a lot from in the weeks and months ahead.

“Sean is another good player and both lads will hopefully score goals.

“Dean Oliver and Dan Cotton are both staying on with the club as well so we have plenty of options in attack.”

Clark admitted he feared that Beeson, who ended last season with 18 goals to his name, and Toyne would move on.

He added: “There was a lot of interest in both lads and from as high as Conference North level in Lee’s case. It is a terrific boost that both have agreed to stay.

“Lee is still learning and we feel we have an ideal environment for him to develop. He is hungry for success and wants to achieve things.

“Andy was terrific for us last season when he really progressed as a player. He is another lad who buys into what we are trying to achieve and likes the way we try to play the game.

“We know we were too light in the second half of last season when things didn’t go our way, but we believe we have taken steps to put that right.”

Two definite departures are full-back Matty Evans, who has joined Deeping Rangers, and goalkeeper Chris Wright, who is being strongly linked with Boston Town. Player-coach Ben Sedgemore has retired.