SPALDING United have fired a signal of their intent by pulling off the mouth-watering signing of former Boston United skipper Lee Canoville.
The 31-year-old centre back, who left the Pilgrims last month to seek a new challenge, has been handed a two-year contract by Tulips boss Pat Rayment.
Canoville, who started his career with Arsenal after graduating from the FA School at Lilleshall, captained Boston to UniBond Premier Division promotion before spending the last two seasons in the Blue Square Bet North – which included a stint as joint boss with current supremo Jason Lee.
Having secured the signature of the former Notts County and Torquay United defender, Rayment’s revolution at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field looks to be firmly under way.
“This is massive news for the football club,” beamed Rayment, who recently helped secure a major sponsorship deal for the Tulips. “I’m really excited about having Lee on-board, it’s a signal of our intent.
“Plenty of people laughed at me when I said we’d spoken to Lee – they said we’d have no chance of getting him here. But he’s after a new challenge and has bought into what we’re trying to do here at Spalding.
“He’s only 31 and has plenty to offer, it’s not like this is his swansong. He’ll be a massive asset to the club as we bid to climb the leagues.
“This has to be the biggest signing Spalding United have made in a very long time.”
Not content with securing Canoville, Rayment has also moved to clinch the signing of former Spalding skipper Andy Toyne from Stamford.
The midfielder endured a tough season with the Daniels last year, with injury and two changes of manager hampering his progress.
But skilful playmaker Toyne was the Tulips’ star man under former boss Richard Scott back in 2009/10 – and he will also be under contract for his third stint at the club.
Rayment insists that both he and Canoville were signed with the bigger picture in mind, as they bid to blitz the UCL Premier Division next season.
The Spalding boss added: “I worked with Andy at Stamford, he’s a proven player in the Evo-Stik League. He’ll be a massive asset.
“That’s what we’re trying to do here – sign players that can move upwards with the club.
“We have a big gap to bridge if we’re to rival the likes of Long Buckby next season. But we aren’t just thinking short-term with our transfers.”
Rayment expects to announce more signings in the coming days – see www.spalding.today.co.uk for the latest updates.