Non League Daily

Avery Follows Sykes to Shortwood

Commanding centre-half Sam Avery has followed former Bishop's Cleeve manager Alex Sykes in making the cross-county move to Calor League Division One South & West rivals Shortwood United.

The 24-year-old defender is joined in making the move to Meadowbank by one-time Cleeve team-mate, left-sided defender or midfielder Adam Mace.

Yate Town captain Tom Warren completes a trio of signings for Wood as joint bosses John Evans and Alex Sykes' plans for the new term gather pace.

Wood play their first pre-season season friendly of the summer at Brimscombe and Thrupp tonight and Sykes (pictured) is hoping all three of his new recruits will be involved.

"We've brought in the three lads and they should all be involved at Brimscombe because we're looking to give everyone a game to get some football into their legs," Sykes said.

"Sam and Tom come with a lot of ability and experience at this level and are big signings for us.

"Adam is one for the future too and he will be in and around the first-team squad creating some competition for places, which will be vital."

Avery joined Cleeve from the Gloucester City youth set-up and was a key performer in the side that recorded a best-ever Southern League finish under Paul Collicutt in 2009.

He maintained that form when Sykes took charge at Kayte Lane and was an immediate target for the new Wood joint boss after he made the move to Nailsworth last month.

"Sam is someone I know all about from my time at Cleeve, where he won almost every player-of-the-year award going last year," Sykes said.

"He's been at Cleeve for seven or eight years and has played hundreds of games but just felt that he needed a fresh challenge to sink his teeth in to.

"And to have Tom as well is really good as he was a key part of the Yate side that had that great cup run last season and was captain there, so he will bring a lot to both the team and the dressing room."

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