WEB EXCLUSIVE: Spalding United’s signing spree continues

Tulips move: Left back Lewis Brooks is one of two new signings announced by Spalding United.
Tulips move: Left back Lewis Brooks is one of two new signings announced by Spalding United.
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AMBITIOUS Pat Rayment has revealed five more stellar Spalding United transfer targets – and has also confirmed two further summer additions to his squad.

Having agreed eye-catching deals with Lee Canoville and Andy Toyne earlier this week, Rayment has confirmed that offers have been made to former Boston United winger Ryan Semple, ex-Peterborough United trainee Michael Frew, St Neots goal machine Shane Tolley, his Saints team-mate Lewis Webb and another ex-Pilgrim Ryan Clarke.

Semple was surprisingly released by Boston United at the end of last season and is sure to have a long list of suitors, while striker Tolley and midfield ace Webb – who have enjoyed back-to-back promotions with St Neots – are both rumoured to be attracting interest from a King’s Lynn Town side that will play one step higher than Spalding next season.

Former Worcester City captain Clarke, who is usually a central defender, is based in Sleaford and would be a major coup for the Tulips should they secure his services, while Frew featured for Lowestoft last year after leaving Corby Town.

While the Tulips boss waits on an answer from the high-profile quintet, he has sealed swoops for Boston Town left back Lewis Brooks and former Leicester City trainee Jay Smedley, who was attracting interest from higher-graded clubs.

The versatile Smedley, who played for Quorn last season, is equally adept at full back, centre back or in a defensive midfield role.

Neither he nor Brooks – who started last season at Holbeach United – have been handed contracts, but they will be challenged to impress over pre-season.

Buoyant Rayment, who is intent on winning the UCL Premier Division and securing promotion in his first full season at the helm, has also made a bid to sign a contracted player currently at a club two levels higher than Spalding.

The Tulips boss said: “I can confirm offers have gone in for Semple, Frew, Tolley, Webb and Clarke. They are all very talented players – and it’s been said that if we manage to get them, we’d have one of the best UCL squads ever.

“Hopefully we’ll have a decision from them in the next three to five days.

“I’m pleased to announce that Lewis Brooks has agreed to come to to the club. I saw him play a few times last year and he really impressed me as a left back.

“Jay Smedley is coming with a glowing reference from Lee Canoville. He had plenty of offers to go to higher-graded teams, so it’s something of a coup to get him to come down for pre-season.”

Also invited to link up with Spalding over pre-season are a number of last season’s squad.

Keeper Nick Conroy will stay on as Rayment’s number one, while Simon Ashton, Glen Fuff, Ben Porter, Josh Ford, Alex Lyon, James Allen, Tom James and Guy Wood have all been asked to return after the summer break.

Striker Greg Smith has made the move to Evo-Stik League side Stamford to link up with his former Corby Town boss Graham Drury, but he’s expected to sign dual forms which will enable him to play for both Spalding and the Daniels.

Although more signings are certain to follow in the coming weeks, Rayment is keen to emphasise that the door isn’t closed on the lads who played under him last season.

He added: “Last year was a poor one for Spalding United. But some of the lads showed a bit of promise and they deserve a chance to be involved in a more successful team.”

One man certain to leave the Tulips fold is midfielder Simon Bolland, who was one of Rayment’s first signings after taking over from Andy Stanhope earlier this year.