Bideford recruit four Barnstaple Town players for new Southern League season

PUBLISHED: 15:11 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:11 24 May 2017

Four Barnstaple Town players from last season have joined Bideford. Pictures: Matt Smart

Four Barnstaple Town players from last season have joined Bideford. Pictures: Matt Smart


Bideford manager Sean Joyce has been busy recruiting players as the Southern League off-season develops

Bideford’s squad for the new Southern League season is already taking shape, just four weeks after the last one drew to a close.

Joyce has brought five players into the squad this month, with four of them coming from Barnstaple Town.

Ryan Turner is the latest Barum player to join the Robins, with the club announcing the move today (Wednesday).

The signing of Turner is a coup for Joyce, who made it clear his desire to bring in a striker as the campaign came to its end in April.

Ryan Turner. Picture: Matt Smart Ryan Turner. Picture: Matt Smart

“He’s a natural finisher,” said Joyce.

“We’ve tried different players in that position over last season and its the only one Ryan knows.

“I’ve had a look at this league and I know what it’s all about now. We’re going to go with two up top next season and having Ryan up there will give us a great chance.”

Turner’s goals were valuable for Barnstaple last season, scoring 18 goals in the club’s first season in Division One South and West.

The striker joins team-mates from last season Craig Allan, Steve Oliver and James Mayne, who have all committed to the Robins for the season ahead.

The signing of centre-back Allan was announced on Tuesday, a day after goalkeeper Oliver was brought in.

The club announced they had brought in Mayne and Sol Wheatley from Paulton Rovers earlier this month.

Joyce said there was ‘no risk’ to bringing in three players from Barnstaple who have proved themselves in the division.

Craig Allan. Picture: Matt Smart Craig Allan. Picture: Matt Smart

“Yeoy has done a brilliant job there,” he said.

“He’s brought these players up the leagues with him and they have proved themselves.

“There’s no gamble there for me and I tip my hat to Barry Yeo on that one, because they’ve proved they can play at this level.

“I wanted to go more North Devon based but in the past the gap between the sides has been a bit too far.

Steve Oliver. Picture: Matt Smart Steve Oliver. Picture: Matt Smart

“I still believe we need players with that outside influence, the likes of Chris McPhee and Matt Bye who bring that extra experience, but having that North Devon based side we’ll train well, we’re all in one area and not from four or five.”

Joyce will be without at least three of his players from last season when the new season gets underway.

Kai Fisher has gone to Barnstaple Town, where he will captain Richard Pears’ new side.

Meanwhile, Chris McGrath and Matt Andrew have left the club, with the former joining Taunton Town.

James Mayne. Picture: Matt Smart James Mayne. Picture: Matt Smart

League Two side confirmed for pre-season

Another EFL side will be coming to Bideford for a pre-season friendly.

Grimsby Town will be bringing their first team to the Sports Ground on Tuesday, July 18.

Joyce was full of praise for the club’s commercial manager, Peter Ellis, for putting together the ‘best pre-season in years’.

He said: “It’s down to Pete Ellis – He’s done brilliantly.

“He’s worked on Cardiff and Grimsby and I take my hat off to him. I don’t think anyone else would have got it.

“He deserves all the credit, it’s the best pre season we’ve had in years.”

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