Non-League news: Buckle relishing Wanderers ‘pressure’. New signings at Whitton, Bury & Needham... Dicks leaves Heybridge.
PUBLISHED: 10:43 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:37 02 July 2019
© Stan Baston
Ipswich Wanderers joint boss James Buckle says it will be good for his team to ‘finally have some pressure on us’.
The Thurlow One, Humber Doucy Lane club had made two marquee signings in recent weeks that look set to ignite their season.
Rhys Barber and Joe Francis, who both played for Felixstowe & Walton last season - two steps higher - have signed for Wanderers. Buckle couldn't be more delighted.
"It's great having Rhys and Joe on board," he said.
"It's been a bit of a struggle at Wanderers the last few seasons as most people know. Quite honestly most of the time it was just about keeping the club afloat.
"But now we can finally have some pressure on us!"
Wanderers need to finish in a top four place in Thulow One (Step 6) to gain promotion back to Thurlow Premier and Buckle said that is very much their aim.
"We want to get back to Step 5 where Wanderers should be," he said.
"So many people have worked so hard in recent years. We want to make them proud again. Hopefully the good times are on their way back."
It has indeed been a tough few seasons on and off the pitch for Wanderers but with a new chairman on board, Steve Boyle, things are looking up.
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"Steve has come in and been fantastic to be honest," Buckle added.
"He's taken so much pressure of me and 'Goldy' (Mark Goldfinch, fellow joint boss). And told us to just go out and get promotion!
"It's nice to have a bit of a budget but quite honestly players are joining us because they want to play for me and 'Goldy', which is nice."
Meanwhile Whitton United of the Thurlow Premier have signed Jamie Eaton-Collins.
Eaton-Collins spent eight years at Norwich City as a youth, scholar and professional, followed by spells at Concord Rangers and AFC Sudbury.
Whitton boss Shane Coldron said: "I had the pleasure coaching Jamie as a youth and have monitored his successful progress therefore I'm extremely pleased to have gained his signature."
Bury Town of Bostik North, have signed Will Gardner from North division rivals Soham Town. He was previously with Bury in 2016.
Also in Bostik North, Heybridge Swifts have parted company with Julian Dicks.
The former Liverpool and West Ham full-back has accepted an invitation to join the coaching staff at West Brom under new Baggies boss Slaven Bilic, someone he played alongside and worked as a coach under at Premier League West Ham.
Assistant manager Karl Duguid is set to step up to the role of first-team boss at Heybridge, subject to ratification by the club's committee.
Needham Market have re-signed Craig Parker, from King's Lynn.
The former fan favourite returns to Bloomfields, where he holds the club record for the most goals in a season (40, 2010/11 season).