HOLBEACH United boss John Chand has finally revealed his hand in the summer transfer market after making moves for a trio of top talent.
The Tigers supremo, famed for his wheeler-dealing, has agreed terms with Stamford midfield ace Harry Deane and bad-boy Boston Town defender Jack Smith.
Chand, who snubbed the advances of the Poachers to stay at the Carter’s Park helm for a third season, has also made contact with hot-shot Robbie Harris after his recent release from promoted King’s Lynn Town.
With the skilful Luke Kennedy crossing the South Holland divide from Holbeach to Spalding United, Deane was the Tigers’ top target to replace him.
Smith, one of the most physical defenders in the UCL Premier Division, will add some steel to the squad, while Harris – who bagged 73 goals in 186 games for the Linnets – is a player Chand has a huge amount of admiration for.
“I’m really pleased to have Harry and Jack on board,” said Chand, who guided the Tigers to Lincs FA Senior Shield glory last season. “With Kenny leaving, I felt we needed to strengthen in midfield.
“Harry was the man I wanted and I’m pleased we managed to lure him here. He played against us in a friendly last season and absolutely ripped us apart.
“Jack can also play in midfield and he’s a real leader, an all or nothing player.
“He’ll give 120 per cent every game and is as committed as they come. He’s had a few red cards – including one against us – but his physicality is one of his top qualities.
“I’ve also been in contact with Robbie Harris and offered him the chance to come and play for us.
“I’m aware other teams may have offered him more money, but I’m hoping he wants to come here and shine.
“I’d be absolutely delighted to get him here. He’s a player I’ve always admired and I just know he’d be a star for us.”
With Holbeach’s first pre-season training session scheduled to begin on June 30, Chand wants to get the vast majority of his business concluded before then.
But with the likes of Spalding expected to go into pre-season with a sizeable squad, he isn’t ruling out any late moves in the market.
Other than Kennedy, Chand hopes to hold on to the majority of his squad too.
Skipper Jamie Stevens has attracted interest from both Macclesfield Town and St Neots Town, but Chand insists the defender is “100 per cent committed” to at least another year with Holbeach in the UCL Premier Division.
The Tigers’ supremo is also hoping he can persuade Matt Warfield to carry on playing and wants talks with striker Liam Nimmo.
Club legend Warfield is considering his future at Carter’s Park after a stop-start campaign last time around, while Chand is yet to hear from Nimmo regarding his plans for next season.
He added: “I’m not looking to change too much, we have a great spirit at the club.
“I’d really like to keep both Warfield and Nimmo, so the ball is in their court really.”
Holbeach look to have missed out on transfer targets Ryan Oliver and Ollie Pinner, though. Ex-Deeping Rangers striker Oliver is expected to join hometown side Sleaford, while Pinner is off to Boston United Reserves.