Tigers squad is taking shape

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Holbeach United joint-manager Graham Drury is convinced he and John Chand have put together a side good enough to bring the UCL title back to Carter’s Park.

The Tigers look strong in all departments and also have an excellent blend of youth and experience as they look to regain the title they won two seasons ago.

It will be virtually a whole new team from the one that finished 11th last season and will boast several players who have won UCL titles or played at a higher level.

Five of the side who started Spalding United’s last game of their title-winning campaign – Ross Watson, Tom Roberts, Adam Jackson, Johnny Allen and Danny Steadman – are now at Holbeach along with Jamie Stevens, who skippered the Tulips to glory last season but was on the bench for that final match.

The likes of playmaker Ashley Fuller, Danny Spencer, Jake Gibson, Ollie Pinner and Gary King - who scored twice for Deeping in last year’s UCL KO Cup final - have also joined plus four hugely promising players from Division One champions Oadby.

Strikers Courtney Meade and Lee Dube, goalscoring midfielder and captain Jake Duffy and goalkeeper Luke Pickering were influential as Oadby won the title in style last season so it is easy to understand why Drury is getting excited.

Not that he has finished his transfer business yet with three more players set to sign on Thursday evening.

Drury said: “We are close to completing our squad but three players are due to sign on Thursday night.

“We still hope to get one more after that, but the player we are after is on holiday until the middle of July.

“We are competing with Kettering to sign him so I wouldn’t say I am confident, but we have to be happy with the players we have brought in so far.

“If anyone finishes above us they will have to be in the top two or three in the table because I would certainly expect us to be right up there.

“We have signed plenty of players who have won at this level and there is a nice blend of youth and experience.

“We have plenty of competition for places so it’s all coming together very nicely.

“I am very optimistic that we will have a good season.”

Drury reported that most of last year’s squad have left the club but striker Tommy Treacher has now signed on for next season.

Holbeach begin their season with a trip to Peterborough Northern Star.