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Three new signings and a return to training!

Elliott Buchanan

Two Toms and a welcome return for an Elliott. Plus Hayden's latest YouTube interview.

Kingstonian Football Club is delighted to announce three new signings.

On the eve of pre-season training, the club can confirm that Elliott Buchanan, Tom Richards and Tom Howard have bolstered Hayden Bird's squad.

Both Elliott and Tom Richards arrive having featured in Dorking Wanderers' National League South Play-Off campaign, whilst Tom Howard is a graduate of the Chelsea FC Academy system.

Buchanan returns to K's needing little introduction. Having enjoyed a very successful time at the Meadowbank, Elliott has won the Golden Boot in the Isthmian League Premier, scoring 39 league goals while at Staines Town. The target man also boasts extensive experience in the National League. On two occasions, he has been the leading goalscorer in the National South.

Tom Richards is equally at home at left back, left wing-back or on the left wing. The former Fulham, AFC Wimbledon and Aldershot Town wide man was signed by Dorking Wanderers from neighbours Leatherhead. Like Elliott, Tom has had a very successful career at the Meadowbank, winning the Isthmian Premier and reaching the National League South play-offs.

Like many of our squad, Tom Howard is another player who has played for Hayden before. Having spent ten years progressing through the Chelsea Academy, injuries prevented the talented midfield player from winning a professional contract at Stamford Bridge. In signing for Merstham, Tom played a pivotal role in the promotion winning side and them establishing Merstham in the Premier Division, winning two Surrey Senior Cups.

Having been offered a job coaching in Chelsea's Academy, Tom decided to take a break from football but is now in a position to re-commence his impressive playing career.

"I'm absolutely delighted to welcome three outstanding players to Kingstonian," enthused manager Hayden Bird. "Elliott and Tom Richards are both long term targets. Both players have won this league and will improve our quality in the final third of the field. We knew we needed to add goals to the team. Elliott, Tom, Corie [Andrews] and Kadell [Daniel] will definitely do that."

"Tom Howard is a player I really rate. He has a top class attitude and has great technique. When I informed the players that Tom was signing, his team mates were absolutely delighted. That speaks volumes for him."

On Saturday, the players return to pre-season. With the season currently scheduled to start on Saturday 19th September, the pre-season friendlies will be announced in the next few days.

"Everyone is looking forward to returning to training," said the Boss. "Let's be clear, there is plenty of hard work ahead of us. The boys set the bar high last season and our job is to push the boundaries and raise the levels again. We want to play good football, we want to win and we want to improve. That will not be achieved without hard work."

When pressed on his team being title contenders, Hayden's response was based on fact rather than popular opinion.

"Plenty of people within football have suggested that Kingstonian will fight for the title. Let's add a little perspective to that," he said philosophically.

"At the point of lockdown, although we had three games in hand, Worthing were top and 24pts ahead of us. If we had won our three games in hand of 5th-placed Carshalton Athletic, we would still have been six points adrift of the play-offs."

"Other managers tipping Kingstonian is flattering but last season's statistics are a good barometer of the hard work ahead of us and the improvement needed."

At the time of writing, due to Government guidelines, all of the friendlies will be played behind closed doors. However, in order to keep our supporters at the forefront of the action, Kingstonian TV are hoping to film games and provide pre-match and post-match interviews.

Football is back. Kingstonian are back. Elliott Buchanan is back!

PS: Jamie Cutteridge's latest interview with Hayden Bird is up on YouTube right now, and also stars Elliott Buchanan and Tom Richards!

Published Wednesday 29th July 2020