THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

WITH pre-season now well under way I caught up with our co-manager Wayne Goodison to discuss the signings him and Paul Bowyer have made so far this summer.

The first signing we announced was right back Paul Connor, who is no stranger of playing in the green and black of 1874. After making 222 appearances first time around, Wayne told me “Paul is fully committed to playing for the club and knows he’s got a fight on his hands to claim that right back slot.”

He added: “Paul left us at the end of the 2018/19 season with everyone’s best wishes as he hoped he’d enjoy his football in a different way but it didn’t quite work out in the way he wanted.

“He’d always kept in contact with the club, he’d come and watch us play, he’d chat to me, Bow and the players. We had a conversation in June about him coming back to play and it’s just developed from there.

“Everybody knows what Paul is capable of. He’s fully committed to the club and knows he’s got a fight on his hands to claim that right back slot. He knows what the club is all about and it’s good to have Paul back.”

Our next signing was experienced goalscoring striker Joel Brownhill on dual registration with Spalding United, a player who Wayne has always “had a lot of time for.”

He said: “Joel is someone who has an excellent record at this level, and that’s why we wanted to bring him in.

“He’s with us on dual registration which works well for us as we’ve been able to help Joel get those sessions in pre-season to help him stay fit.

“Whenever we’ve ever come up against him, he’s always been someone I’ve had a lot of time for and you can always have an honest conversation with him. We hope it works out well for him at Spalding and when he’s available midweek, hopefully it does for us!”

Creative midfielder Will Marsh was our third signing which Goodison described as a move which was “right out there.”

He continued: “Joe Woolley approached us about bringing in Will and it was one for me and Bow which was right out there.

“You could tell straight away that he’s got the ability, certainly has a good background and we’ve had honest conversations with Will about his expectations.

“He’s had a couple of years away from the game and we said we’re more than happy to give him the time to get himself ready to the fitness levels of the other lads.”

Our fourth signing was Andy Fitzgerald and Wayne highlighted how he was extremely keen to join the club.

“Andy spoke to us at the start of our voluntary sessions asking if he could train which we were more than happy with,” said Wayne.

“Since then it’s developed and we’re happy to see Fitz join us this season. We explained our situation with defenders and he’s happy to commit and attempt to break into the side.”