Tudors boss Lee pleased with the recruitment drive

Hemel Hempstead Town are making moves ahead of the National League South season

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:19 am
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 11:20 am
Lee Bircham is happy with the recruitment at Hemel Hempstead Town so far this summer

There have been more comings and goings at Hemel Hempstead Town over the past week.

Club captain Jake Howells confirmed he was leaving the club having made his 500th career appearance during his spell with the Tudors.

But that news was followed by the arrival of another summer signing in the form of Josh Castiglione, who has joined from Southern League side, Royston Town.

The forward’s addition means Lee Bircham’s squad is really starting to take shape ahead of the new National League South campaign, which kicks off on August 14.

With a number of last season’s squad already signed up, Bircham admits he has been happy to take his time to add to it, with the likes of Ky Marsh-Brown, Cole Kpekawa and now Castiglione coming in.

And Bircham is pleased with the work the club has done so far when it comes to their summer recruitment.

“The lads we have got in so far are all the right sort of age and they all believe in what we are trying to do here,” the Tudors boss said.

“The players we are signing are similar in their backgrounds.

“You can’t get it right 100 per cent of the time, but you can do your best and make sure you tick the right boxes.

“It’s a long-term thing for us. We are not rushing into things and, so far, we are really pleased with what we have done.

“We have been having four or five meetings with players. We know they are good players, but they have to be the right characters for us.

“Recruitment this year, compared to last year, is different. We are much better equipped this year, we have a bit more time.

“And being able to keep the likes of Sam Mantom and Samir Carruthers, who are both capable of playing in the Football League, shows we are doing things the right way.”

Hemel’s pre-season programme is due to kick-off with a home friendly against Beaconsfield Town on July 13 and, ahead of a full return to pre-season training, the Tudors squad are already being put through their paces by strength and conditioning coach Scott Daly.

“We have had the lads back in for a session once a week,” Bircham added.

“I have always been a six-week manager in terms of the timescale for pre-season, but we have our fitness coach Scott Daly, who is second to none, doing some work with them.

“Everyone can do 5km or 10km runs to get themselves fit but you need that sharpness and the only way to get that is when you are in a group.

“So we are having them in once a week at the moment to work on that, but we will also be looking at trialists during this time as well.

“As a manager, I was given a chance here from being at a lower level and if I don’t give players from lower down an opportunity then that would be wrong.

“So, we have been looking at trialists who have been recommended to us. It’s all aiming towards having a good squad in place by the start of July.”