BRAKES boss Paul Holleran has wasted no time on piecing together his squad for the 2016/17 campaign with the arrival of two new players while three familiar faces have committed their future to the club.
Holleran was given a recent vote of confidence by the board earlier this month to lead the club’s promotion charge from the Southern League Premier Division and he has already start piecing together what he hopes will be a successful side.
Both Tony Breeden and vice-captain Jamie Hood will return after cementing themselves as first team regulars last season. Both players have made over 150 appearances for the Brakes and will be looking to add to that tally next season.
Midfielder Jack Edwards became the latest member of last season’s squad to commit their future to the club this week.
Edwards cemented himself as a firm fan’s favourite after winning the Supporters Player of the Year award after amassing 53 appearances last season and he finished as the second highest goalscorer with 12.
Connor Gudger and Richard Taundry have both opted to return for another crack at promotion back to the National League North after coming so close last time out.
Brakes have also been boosted by the recent addition of striker Ryan Rowe and former Redditch United player Rob Thompson-Brown.
Rowe will be hoping to improve Leamington’s goal tally next season having scored 15 times in as many games as he finished last season at Midland League Premier League side Lye Town.
He will be best known to Brakes fans for his time at Stourbridge where he scored 73 times in 146 games before signing for hometown club Kidderminster Harriers in February 2012.
After 14 goals in 60 appearances, the 27-year-old joined Brackley Town having spent a loan spell with the Northamptonshire side the previous season, along with another spell back at Stourbridge.
After a season at St James’ Park, Rowe joined fellow National League North side Worcester City, only to switch to AFC Telford United a little over a month into the 2015/16 season.
Holleran said: “I’m delighted to get a player of Ryan’s quality and calibre, but what impressed me the most was his sheer desire to come and play for Leamington and score goals.”
Thompson-Brown will also be a familiar name to Brakes fans having spent a brief loan spell with the Brakes during the club’s Southern League Championship winning campaign of 2012/13.
The 23-year-old began his career at Kidderminster Harriers but more recently he has enjoyed spells at Hednesford and Halesowen Town before helping Stratford Town to promotion in 2015.
He began last season at the DCS Stadium but made the switch to Redditch midway through the campaign, helping the Worcestershire side to the runners up spot in the Southern League Premier Division.
Holleran added: “Thompson-Brown is a young lad who I have watched closely.
“He had a little loan spell with us a few years back but has developed into a good player who is the right age now, he’s got good experience and played a lot of games at this level last year, getting into double figures in terms of goals.
“As with Ryan, he fits into what we are trying to do, so we’re pleased to welcome him to the club on a permanent basis.”