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Duo lay foundations at Boro

GOLAKEEPER Mark Osborn and striker Ken Charlery have become the first two players to commit themselves to another season at Farnborough Town under the new regime.

GOALKEEPER Mark Osborn and veteran striker Ken Charlery have become the first players of the current squad to commit themselves to another season at Farnborough Town under the new regime.

Shot-stopper Osborn, who only started two matches in the first team last season, and Charlery, the club's top goalscorer in the league last season, have both agreed to new year-long deals with new chairman Vic Searle and will become pivotal parts of Tommy Taylor's new-look set-up.

With these two in tow, Searle, Taylor and coach Ian McDonald can now start to piece together a streamline squad of between 16 and 18 players, made up of around six members of last year's set-up and a "bucket load" of players coming out of the Football League.

Talks are on-going with players all the time with many expected down for the many pre-season sessions which Searle is lining up to give his management team plenty of opportunity to complete the jigsaw.

Also hoping to sign on is impressive young winger Paul Harkness, who has revealed that he has been offered a new deal, and Tony Taggart, whose option to sign has been taken up by Searle and the new boss.

Searle said: "There are bucket loads of players we can sign if we want to. The list of players coming out of the Football League is extensive.

"There is only one way for these players to go and that is down the ladder to start again and try and re-build their careers. In that respect we are in the ideal situation.

"Tommy will have a squad of between 16 and 18 players, and with the budget we have, the only thing we can possibly do is do the best we can, while being responsible. I have to say though that I am quite excited about the type of player we are looking to bring in.

"Slowly but surely things are looking up with the social club now open four days a week with a big screen fitted and new jackpot machines installed. This is key to our plans."

Speaking about his first two signings, Searle added: "I had Mark Osborn on loan when I was chairman at Hampton and wanted to sign him then.

"He didn't get much of a chance last year but I know what a good goalkeeper he is and didn't hesitate in offering him a deal. As for Ken, he is an experienced player and regular goalscorer and he will remain an important part of the side."

An air of uncertainty surrounds Cherrywood Road at present with the managerial trio talking to players all the time and waiting for answers.

But with a budget estimated at around £4,500, equating to around £250 a week for each player, the bosses know that they will have to be patient in order to give each player time to decide their future.

The bosses are, however, looking to plan the club's future without at least two of last year's squad with Christian Lee expected to complete a move to Halifax nearer his Doncaster-based home, and Garry Butterworth who signed for Kettering Town on Wednesday morning, having agreed a settlement to terminate his two-year contract.

But despite the board room concerns, the financial constraints have actually proved a blessing for one young player, who has seized on a rare opportunity to shine and make his mark in the top flight.

Paul Harkness offered his services free of charge to McDonald just prior to the transfer embargo and is now a signature away from earning himself a lucrative deal.

The 22-year-old joined from Walton & Hersham and took his chance with both hands, playing starring roles in the crucial wins at Kettering, Chester and Nuneaton and scoring a fine goal at Forest Green.

He said: "Macca took a chance on me and I will always be indebted to him for that. In a way the transfer embargo helped me because it gave me the chance to show what I can do.

"I've always felt I was good enough to play at this level and I think I've proved that. People say the games at Chester and Nuneaton were the crucial ones and I like to think I played a part in those results as I started in both of those games.

"I have been offered a new deal and I'll probably take it because I've really enjoyed my time at Farnborough.

"I don't really want to worry about it just yet, I've had other offers, but first I'd like to see what players are coming in and who's leaving.

There are a lot of rumours but I'm sure there will still be quality players and characters around the place next season whatever happens."


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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