Friday 2nd July 2021
Royal Wootton Bassett Town's preparations for the 2021-22 season got started on Thursday with the first pre-season training session. And manager Sam Collier used it as an opportunity to start laying the foundations for a side which he hopes will perform strongly in a revamped Hellenic League Premier Division.
First to sign were two important building blocks as Collier secured the signature of captain Sam Ockwell and experienced forward Alan Griffin.
The Bassett boss expects that the pair will ensure strength at both ends of the pitch.
Centre half Ockwell shone for Bassett throughout last season – not only thanks to his outstanding defensive displays, but also through the vital contributions he made at the other end of the pitch.
In 24 appearances, he scored three times. And all three goals came in Bassett's record-matching FA Cup run, his brace securing a 2-1 upset victory away against Didcot Town in the Preliminary round before his free kick put Bassett ahead at home against National League South Oxford City two rounds later.
Ockwell's outstanding set piece delivery and ability to pick a pass also saw him play a crucial role in numerous other goals his team scored.
Through signing the powerful Griffin, Collier has strengthened Bassett's options in attack.
Although 38 years of age, Griffin still poses a significant threat in front of goal and brings a wealth of Southern League experience having featured extensively for Cirencester Town, Chippenham Town and Swindon Supermarine in what has been a fantastic non-league career.
Commenting on the signings, Collier said: "I'm delighted that Ocky and Griff have put pen to paper."
"For me, Sam is the best centre half I have worked with and he played a huge part in our cup success last season. He dictates the way we play and is an outstanding leader, who I'm thrilled is returning."
"Griff comes with huge pedigree. He looks incredibly fit and is hungry to score goals as he has done throughout his career."
"Forward is an area where we had some struggles last season, when TJ Bohane wasn't around. Myself, Bully and Tom Jones are over the moon to therefore have Griff on board. He will certainly offer a lot both on and off the pitch."Last modified on Friday 2nd July 2021 at 16:07.