There has been plenty of activity at Ashford United so far this Summer as Gary Alexander prepares for his first full Season at the Homelands Helm.
Their 6th Summer signing, having already bought in the likes of Ollie Rowe, Lea Dawson, Antonio Simeone, Tom Carlse, and Sam Mott, is young centre midfielder Josh Wisson, from Herne Bay.
The 20 year old, who was called up to the England school boys’ squad in 2016 whilst playing for Sittingbourne, made over 50 appearances for Herne Bay in 2017/2018. He has also trialled for Millwall in recent times.
Josh told ‘Ashfordunitedfc.com’ this afternoon:
“I am very pleased to be joining Ashford next season. I’ve had some good chats with Gary [Alexander] and believe we are going to do very well next year.”
Witton scored 5 goals for Herne Bay last campaign, including one against the league champions Carshalton Athletic in a 2-0 victory, and Alexander mentioned how he’s looking forward to working with the young midfielder:
“Josh is a young talent with real quality. He’s played for England schoolboys and has great pedigree having been on trial to clubs much higher up the ladder, so that shows us what he’s about. Hopefully he can come and be a big success for Ashford and progress his career. Welcome to the team Josh!”
The club have also announced the departure of Max Watters as he links up with Darren Ferguson at Doncaster Rovers.
Max signs with Doncaster on a two-year-deal, and the 19-year old will join the club on 1st July 2018.
Speaking to Doncaster Rovers FC, Max can’t wait to get started:
“I’m over the moon, it’s always been an aim of mine to try and get a contract in the EFL so now it’s about working hard to keep improving.
It’s such a friendly club and when I came here on trial they couldn’t have done anymore for me, the squad were really welcoming from my first day.
I noticed the manager likes to give young players a chance, hopefully I’ve made my mark with the coaching staff to show them what I’m capable of.”
Back to the signings and one of the most important made by Gary Alexander could be ex-England C team goalkeeper Sam Mott, his fifth signing of the Summer.
Mott, who won the Bostik League North Division with AFC Hornchurch in 2017/2018, also won the Conference South Division with Welling United in 2012/2013, which earned him a call up to the England C team against Turkey.
Mott has played for Thamesmead Town and East Thurrock, and has been with AFC Hornchurch since 2014.
The new signing kept 20 clean sheets last season to help AFC Hornchurch to a stomping 103 points and a +62 goal difference.
Gary Alexander gave his viewpoint on this signing:
“I’m very happy to secure the services of Sam Mott for 2018/2019. He comes with a great reputation having played at a higher level and having won league titles. He will be a real quality addition to the team. Welcome on board Sam!”
Signing Number four was Tom Carlse who joined from Greenwich Borough.
Tom made 40 league appearances for Borough last campaign, scoring 3 goals from defence. Carlse joined Greenwich Borough from Sittingbourne in June 2017. He was the leading appearance-maker for Sittingbourne in 2016/2017 as they finished 15th, scoring 5 goals in the process. Carlse joined the Brickies from East Grinstead in February 2016, following spells at Erith Town and Corinthian.
Gary Alexander spoke about his latest recruit:
“I am a very happy man to be back working with Tom Carlse, a player who I signed at Greenwich and somebody with real quality. I’m really pleased he’s back on my side.”
The former Tooting & Mitcham title winning centre back, Antonio Simeone, joined as their third signing of 2018/2019.
The Italian, signs from Whyteleafe where he played in the league 15 times last campaign scoring once, though earlier last season he went on loan to Molesey where he played 27 games, scoring 5 times.
The gaffer spoke following this signing:
“I am pleased to have secured the services of Antonio. He’s a player with a wealth of experience and knows the league. I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to our team.”
On Tuesday, Ashford announced that full back Ollie Rowe has joined from Hastings United as their first signing.
Ollie played 42 times for Hastings in the league last season, and has vast experience in the Isthmian League, having played for the likes of Eastbourne Borough & Lewes, as well as his last 3 seasons at Hastings United.
Gary Alexander said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Ollie Rowe to Ashford for the coming season. He comes with a great reputation as a player and person with the sort of characteristics we want at the club. I’m sure he will go on to be a great addition for the Nuts & Bolts. ”
Second in and a signing that shows that Ashford mean business is that off Cray Wanderers Captain Lea Dawson. The centre midfielder made 50 appearances scoring 10 goals last campaign.
Alexander was clearly excited to get his man.
“After winning the battle to sign Lea Dawson I can’t say how pleased I am when he became available. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t get a meeting with him. He’s a player I admire and I’m very pleased to have him on board. Welcome to Ashford Lea!”
Sadly they have also announced that George Kamarusi has departed the club for the second time.
Gary Alexander spoke to the Club Website:
“Due to personal reasons, George and myself have come to a mutual agreement for him to be released from the club. I feel it’s the right thing for both parties involved and I wish him all of the best and look forward to seeing him again when our paths cross in the future.”
George made 101 appearances for Ashford United, including 75 league starts and 31 clean sheets.
There is sure to be plenty more coming in and out of Homelands over the next few months.
For more from Ashford United please visit their club website here