AS one door closes another one opens — and its certainly brought a wave of excitement to Farnborough Town fans.

Graham Westley may have departed and taken seven players with him but the exodus is now over and new caretaker boss Ian McDonald has celebrated by making four key signings to help continue the charge towards the Conference.

Perhaps the biggest name to enter through the revolving door is midfield hard-man Geoff Pitcher, who signs on a three-month loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Pitcher is someone Macca knows all about from their days at Kingstonian together when the bald-headed workhorse fast became renowned as the best central midfield player in non-League football.

It was there where Pitcher formed the perfect partnership with Gary Patterson, who has now been appointed McDonald's assistant manager until the end of the season.

Pitcher's wages will be funded by Shelley and Steven Gorys, head of the club's top sponsors Alexander Francis.

Patterson, after a nine-month injury hell, made his first start of the season in the 2-2 draw with Hereford on Tuesday night and celebrated it with a goal.

McDonald said: "I think Patto and I have a mutual respect for each other from our days at Kingstonian and I know he has the respect of all the other lads in the dressing room.

"His knowledge of non-League football increases by the year and having captained the England semi-professional side, it gives Patto a chance to use his experience to make a step on the managerial ladder if he so wishes to choose it."

Speaking of Pitcher, Macca added: "This is a name which should excite a few people. Geoff was, in the opinion of most, the best non-League footballer in his position while at Kingstonian and made the natural progression to the Football League with Brighton.

"Due to injuries and changes of manager, Geoff has been playing in the reserves and has had spells at Woking last year and Dagenham this year, but the only place he wants to play non-League football right now is here because of the relationship he has had with me and Gary over the years."

McDonald has also moved to bring in former Wycombe Wanderers youth player Stuart Reeks, who arrives on loan until the end of the season from Woking — but again, the club are looking for a company to help fund his wages.

Reeks has been brought in to beef up the defence, where he can play in almost every position.

But Pitcher and Reeks made their first starts for Farnborough Town at Dagenham on Saturday, and join young left back Ronnie Girvan and left-sided attacker Paul Harkness in the quartet of new faces at Cherrywood Road.

But perhaps the most high-profile signing so far joins the management team to work alongside McDonald and Patterson on the training pitch.

Ian Evans was Mick McCarthy's assistant boss for both Millwall, where he met Macca, and the Republic of Ireland national side and is helping McDonald out with weekly training sessions in a bid to get the boys in tip-top condition for the Play-Off run-in.

Evans, who has also coached at Crystal Palace and managed Swansea City, agreed to help out Macca while waiting to follow McCarthy into a new managerial post.

Of his new coaching appointment, McDonald said: "I met Ian while coaching the reserves and youth team at Millwall and he is an excellent coach and someone who can generate a real buzz among the players.

"There's been talk of an exodus but that's four quality signings we've made now and I'm pleased with the way it is going. I've had to duck and dive a bit due to the club's situation but hopefully it will all be worthwhile."