A FAMILIAR face has returned home to bolster Paul Holleran’s squad for the 2016/17 campaign with Tom James moving back to Leamington where his career began.
James made his way through the youth setup at Leamington before breaking into Jason Cadden’s squad and helping Leamington romp to the Midland Alliance league and cup double back in 2007.
It was at near neighbours Stratford Town that James caught the eye of then Watford boss Sean Dyche and he realised his dream of becoming a professional footballer after signing for the Hornets on a one-year deal in the summer of 2011.
James went on to make his debut for Watford in the third round of the FA Cup against Bradford in the Vicarage Road and since then the 27-year-old had gained a wealth of experience playing in the National League North.
He enjoyed spells at Nuneaton Town, Corby Town, Tamworth and Hednesford Town last season while also spending some time out on loan at Rugby Town.
Now James returns for a third spell with Leamington after spending a short loan spell back at The Phillips 66 Community Stadium during the 2012/13 campaign.
Brakes boss Holleran was pleased to have secured the services of the versatile left-sided player. He said: “I am delighted to be able to bring Tom back to Leamington, he has an obvious affinity with us as it’s his home town club, and I am looking forward to working with him.”
James added: “I am really excited to have signed for Leamington and am looking forward to the season ahead.
“The ambition the manager has for the club made my decision to return an easy one, and it is always good to be part of a football club that is looking to go places.”
Elsewhere, former Leamington striker Jacob Blyth will be hoping to re-ignite his career north of the border next season after signing for Scottish Premier League side Motherwell.
Blyth, who scored 24 goals in 64 appearances for Leamington, has been released by Premier League champions Leicester City after four years at the King Power Stadium where he mostly found success with the Foxes’ development squad.
Although he failed to make a first team appearance for Leicester, Blyth did enjoy several loan spells in the Football League that saw him help Burton Albion clinch the League Two title.
In total he made over 50 appearances for Burton, Notts County, Northampton Town, Cambridge United and more recently Blackpool.
Former Brakes star Sam Austin has also found himself a new club after being released from Burton last season. Austin has joined National League side Kidderminster Harriers.