Gordon Bartlett building strong Wealdstone squad for National League South
PUBLISHED: 13:00 31 May 2017
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Stones confirm Jimmy Gray has returned to join management team while Sam Cox and Elliot Benyon resign for club
Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett has brought back former captain Jimmy Gray, as plans start to take shape for the 2017/18 National League South campaign.
The popular Yorkshireman left the Vale in 2010 after making more than a 100 appearances for the club.
But Gray has returned to join Bartlett’s management team and is keen to help Stones gain promotion.
“I’ve known Gordon a long time now, I know how he works. Obviously I’m coming back in a different capacity, but I’m pretty honoured to be coming back into a club that’s really close to my heart,” Gray told the official club website.
“I had a great three to four years at Wealdstone and I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to get them to the promised land of the National League.
“Gordon’s got together a cracking squad here that had a little dip during the middle part of last season, but they finished really strongly.
“I know quite a lot of the players at Wealdstone and he’s got a lot of experienced players that know the league and I think we can have a good crack at it this year.”
Bartlett expressed his delight at bringing Gray back to the club and feels he can help Stones kick on.
Wealdstone finished an excellent eighth place last season after winning 18 of their 42 league games.
“I’m delighted to have Jimmy on board. As an ex-Stone everyone within the club knows he has the right character and has the winning mentality to help take us forward,” said Bartlett.
“He totally understands what Wealdstone is all about and with his all-round experience I’m confident he will have a big influence as we push to improve on last season.”
Bartlett has also tied down two influential players from the 2016/17 squad with the captain Sam Cox resigning for the club.
The Guyana international excelled during his first season at Wealdstone and fans can look forward to more from the combative midfielder in 2017.
Stones have also retained the services of hitman Elliot Benyon, who finished last year with 22 goals.
The former Southend United forward would have probably finished with more had a dislocated shoulder not sidelined him for part of the campaign.
On agreeing to stay at Wealdstone, Benyon said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to have signed. I have been speaking to Gordon for a few weeks and it’s great to have now put pen to paper.
“We have a great group of boys at Wealdstone and I can’t wait to get back into training and to really go for it next season.”
Joshua Urquhart won’t be returning to the Grove, however, after agreeing to join Isthmian League Premier Division outfit Billericay Town.