Sidmouth Town bring in new faces and look well set for coming league campaign

Sidmouth reserves played Ipplepen at the Manstone ground on Saturday. Ref shsp 31-16SH 3971. Picture

Sidmouth reserves played Ipplepen at the Manstone ground on Saturday. Ref shsp 31-16SH 3971. Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town manager Josh Stunell is absolutely delighted with how things have been going pre-season at Manstone Lane.

Sidmouth Town manager Josh Stunell is absolutely delighted with how things have been going pre-season at Manstone Lane.

The Vikings chief says: “I could not be happier with the state we are currently in.

“I do still have a couple of irons in the fire in terms of bringing in a couple more players to give us further quality, but the key thing from my point of view is that we now have some serious strength in depth with the team.”

Last season’s leading scorer, Cameron Vere, has been enticed away – the youngster has moved across to play for Exmouth Town.


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However, that loss is mitigated with the continued development of another player, something Stunell alluded to when he said: “Cameron is a loss, no doubting that as he is a quality young player. However, I have noticed in the games since Cameron moved on just how Jamie Orchard (Vere’s strike partner last year) has come on.

“It’s almost as if he’s been given a new lease of life in the striking role. He seems to be revelling in the responsibility bestowed on him in terms of leading the line.”

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Replacing Vere is Nathan Antat, who has moved from Exmouth Town to the Vikings.

Stunell says: “He (Antat) is a versatile player and I think he’s going to be a very useful asset to us.

“He’s one of those players who can play in a number of positions and look totally at home whatever task he is given.

“Primarily, I feel he’s a central midfielder, but also one who can play ‘in the hole’ so it’s almost like signing two players! I also think Nathan is going to be a great foil for young Jamie.”

There are two new full-backs at Manstone Lane with the arrival of one experienced player and another teenager.

The experience comes in the form of Neil Pointing to play at right back, and Stunell says: “He (Pointing) is vastly experienced, has played at good levels and has shown in his first few games with us just how controlled he is and his presence is going to be of such help to the younger lads.”

Pointing ended last season as the player-boss at Exwick Villa and presided over the Exeter side as they beat Town 7-1 back in April.

The left back that has come into the club is Cody Bowditch, who last year played in the Dorset County Under-16 team.

Stunell says: “He (Bowditch) is a true ‘lefty’ and will bring energy, pace and enthusiasm to that area of the team.

“His signing also keeps in line with us wanting to attract the best of the local talent.”

Stunell also spoke of Jamie Newberry, and said: “It’s amazing to think that he is almost a veteran of this level of the game as he will be starting his third campain at Peninsula level next week.

“He’s been with us for some time now and we have grown together to the stage where he is part of the team fabric.

“He’s a class act and looks very comfortable now at this level.”

Tomorrow (Saturday), Town entertain Heavitree United (2pm).

Everything that Stunell has been working on is geared to the opening league game, which is at home to Teignmouth tomorrow week (August 13).

The Town boss says: “This time of a football season always excites me as there’s so much anticipation and talk. We at Town have been working hard to make sure that when the real action comes our way we are finely tuned. I could not be happier with how we are progressing at the club.”

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