Collier adds final touches to squad as pre-season campaign nears end

Friday 22nd July 2022

With the start of the 2022-23 Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division just a week and a half away, Royal Wootton Bassett Town Men's First Team manager Sam Collier has been busy finalising his squad for the new campaign.

And the Bassett boss has landed a significant coup in the form of signing full back Louis Spalding. A former Swindon Town youth, Spalding has significant Southern League experience, having featured for Cirencester Town for two seasons before most recently spending a similar amount of time with Swindon Supermarine.

Commenting on Spalding's signing, Collier said: "Louis is a real class act who we're thrilled to sign."

"He had fallen out of love with the game but we have been bombarding him to come to Bassett for six months and were finally able to persuade him."

"Louis has been excellent in pre-season and will offer real energy to the side."

Collier has also added versatility and depth to his squad in the form of Mani Roper. A player who is capable of playing at full back or in midfielder, Roper returns to Bassett – who he featured for in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons – from Highworth Town.

Speedy forward Lewis Waldon is another player returning to the club. He played 16 times for Bassett in 2017-18, scoring nine times – including a hat-trick in a stunning 7-3 win against Binfield. In the years since, he has continued to score freely – primarily at Swindon and District League level. But he has proven in the past that he is more than capable of performing in the Hellenic League.

Elsewhere, the vastly experienced Chris Taylor and the always energetic Kai Robinson have re-signed, with the pair adding to the squad's central midfield strength.

Matt Bennett – whose 42 goals for the Development team in 2021-22 helped deliver the Wiltshire Senior League Premier Division title and earned the forward his side's Players' Player of the Year prize – has put pen to paper too.

Young prospect James Johnson, who impressed in eight first team appearances towards the end of last season after starring for the club's Under 18 side, also offers additional options in attack.

Last modified on Friday 22nd July 2022 at 14:00.