Barnstaple Town have added some defensive experience as preparation for the new BetVictor Southern League Division One South season continues.

Centre-back Neil Bettiss has signed for Barum from Torridgeside.

Bettiss's signing certainly fills a need at Barnstaple following the departure of George Nancekivell to Tiverton Town.

Manager Aaron Harper-Penman said: "Neil's as good as they come. He's had such a good career and excelled everywhere he's been.

"He's comfortable on the ball and a versatile centre-back, and its nice to have someone you can put on the team sheet straight away.

"He's an old head, I've played with him at Bideford and at Falmouth Town. He's experienced and he's got lots of know-how."

Barum's pre-season schedule starts on Tuesday (July 9) with a trip to Ilfracombe Town, with kick-off at 7.30pm.

Their first game at Mill Road sees them welcome Saltash United on Saturday for a 3pm fixture.

Fixtures against Holsworthy, Tiverton Town, Bridgewater Town and Torridgeside are all set to follow before the league season kicks off in August.

The Barnstaple manager said the first couple of games were likely to be more experimental after a big turnout for pre-season training.

"We've had a couple of sessions and they've gone really, really well," said Harper-Penman.

"We've had a lot of interest and big numbers coming to train with a lot of local boys wanting to be involved, which is really good.

"We want to try a few different things and try people out. We've got a few new faces and a few missing, so it will be experimental rather than the fully-formed side.

"We want to go into the season with a bit of confidence behind us, we'll be experimental in the first few games but we'll want to get minutes in for some of the more experienced guys as well.

"We've had a break so it's good to get started and back into it."

The pre-season is Harper-Penman's first with the side, having taken over halfway through the 2018/19 season, and the Barnstaple manager is keen to put his own stamp on the team.

He said: "When you come in halfway through everything is sort of set, but now we can set out stall out from the off."