FAVERSHAM Town have beaten off strong competition to sign prolific striker Harry Harding for the coming season.
The goal-scorer was highly sought after by rival clubs – but has chosen to join former boss James Collins at the Lilywhites.
He trained with his new teammates for the first time last night in the heat at Aquatherm Stadium after putting pen to paper.
Harry, 28, started as a pro at Reading and took some time out of the game before returning to score a club record 45 in 46 games at Erith and Belvedere, captaining them to a SCEFL promotion and cup treble.
He followed that up with seven goals in ten games last season at Chatham Town, taking them to the top of the table when James was boss, before signing for Phoenix Sports.
He then scored four in seven games for them in the Isthmian League South East before personal circumstances kept him from playing for a number of months and lockdown then ended the season.
Harry said: “My expectations for the coming season are to really compete, create a great team enthusiasm and really try to challenge to win the league.
“I go into every season expecting to do that, and I know that’s the same for the management.
“Personally, my aim is to score goals, create goals, excite the fans who pay money to watch us and to get back to what I love to do at a great club.”
The striker revealed manager James was key to his decision to sign for Town.
“We worked really well together in our short time at Chatham.
“Obviously we then both chose to move on and I had an awful lot of tragic personal circumstances that I have had to deal with in the past six months within my family.
“James has stayed in touch with me throughout, and whereas other clubs would be contacting me with what they can offer me and do for me, James generally just wanted to see how I was. There were times we didn’t even talk about football.
“My last game was against Whyteleafe, and then unfortunately it stopped so I’m absolutely buzzing to get going again.”
James said the signing showed his ambition in bringing success to the club.
“I’m really excited that Harry has joined the squad.
“He was with me at Chatham and is a proven goalscorer, but he can also play anywhere in the midfield.
“Harry is an intelligent footballer, reliable in possession and a leader, and I have been working for some time to bring him to the club.
“He is just what we need, and the fact that he has chosen to join us ahead of other clubs shows that we are going in the right direction.
“The squad is getting better by the day, we are almost there in terms of securing all the players I want – and the atmosphere at training now is fantastic.”
The club have announced a list of retained players and new signings that will be playing alongside Harry at Faversham Town this season.
More can be read about those here