TOMMY Taylor is close to clinching his first signing as Farnborough Town manager after a successful meeting with two Conference defenders.

Taylor and club chairman Vic Searle met the two highly sought-after players at an M25 service station on Monday night and are confident of netting at least one to kick-off their summer raid in the transfer market.

The pair have played together at the back in a successful side for some time now, and one has already worked with Mr Searle during his reign as chairman of a previous club.

It is hoped that one of the players will sign today (Friday) although there is no guarantee as to the decision of his team-mate.

The news will come as a massive boost to the club, who are worked all hours to piece together a whole new squad of players to kick off the new season.

Already it has been confirmed that Ken Charlery, Mark Osborn, Paul Harkness and Tony Taggart will return to Cherrywood Road next season, while Supporter's Club Player of the Year Darren Annon and strikers Joff Vansittart and Danny Potter are thinking over new deals.

Searle said: "Tommy and I have 11 players lined up at this moment in time but we are in no rush. These are exciting times and there are a lot of options open to us.

"I have over 40 letters on my desk from players wanting to play for us next season, many of which have been released from pro clubs. But just because they have played at that level it doesn't necessarily mean they can play in the Conference but it is an entirely different game.

"If we are to hit the heights that I want to hit next season, then we need the best. In my time here I've seen Chester, Morecambe and clubs in and around mid-table and there's nothing there to scare us.

"I did feel, however, at times, that certain players last season were just seeing the season out and I believe we can piece together a better squad than we had here last year.

"Ian McDonald is an excellent coach and a lovely guy to have around and I take nothing away from the job he did here last year. But Tommy seems to have given the place a lift since he joined and he has the experience and know-how to take this club forward."

The club have also announced another couple of confirmed dates to their pre-season campaign this week.

Taylor takes his team on a tour of the Isle of Wight on the weekend of July 18, 19 and 20, where they play Newport IOW on the Saturday, before Nationwide division three side Oxford United visit Cherrywood Road the following Wednesday (23), ko 7.45pm.

l The FA Cup final between Arsenal and Southampton will be shown on the big screen in the Farnborough Town social club on Saturday.

All are welcome to attend and watch the big game.