It has been a busy introduction to his new role as Town boss for Darren Byfield as he sets about assembling his squad for life in the newly formed Southern League Central Division.
Right from the start he had to deal with the departure of Liam Francis, Justin Marsden, Loyiso Recci and Lee Thomas who followed Carl Adams to Rugby Town, but he was commendably quick to emphasise that he only wanted players who “wanted to be at Stratford.”
He immediately impressed Town supporters by securing the return of former fans favourite Kieren Westwood from Stafford Rangers, and he was also able to convince Mike Taylor to continue at the MoodChimp after he had apparently been set to join the exodus to Rugby.
With skipper Jimmy Fry soon agreeing to extend his time at Town followed by Charlie Evans, Andy Gallinagh, James Hancocks, Jazz Luckie and Dan Summerfield the early signs were already encouraging, and Darren Byfield then pulled off a real coup by persuading the hugely influential playmaker Will Grocott to stay on as well.
He is however still awaiting to hear whether Ben Stephens will return following his successful stint at Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy which Ben described as “an unreal experience which I’ll never forget,” while so far no there has no news in respect of striker Edwin Ahenkorah, midfielder Eli Bako and keeper Louis Connor all of whom were regulars under Carl Adams.
But meantime the youthful and highly rated defensive duo of Jack Coates and Bradley Maslen-Jones have been recruited, and no doubt there will be other arrivals before the beginning of the pre-season friendlies schedule which is expected to be announced shortly.