Non League Daily

Colbran Adds Three - But Misses Out On Brotherton

Simon Colbran, manager of Ryman League Division One South club Horsham, has announced a trio of new signings to add to an increasingly impressive-looking squad, but revealed his disappointment at failing to bring former Worthing striker Jamie Brotherton back to Horsham, despite assurances from the talented frontman that his future was at Goring's Mead.

Colbran had hoped to hook up again with the talented forward, who played under him at Woodside Road, and it was hoped that Brotherton would reproduce the sort of form that eluded him during his previous, injury-blighted, spell as a Hornet until the shock announcement that he was to join Ryman League newcomers Peacehaven & Telscombe.

"I've said before that, as a manager of a football club, nothing surprises you but there's always something that comes up although I didn't expect it to come from Jamie," said Colbran. "Before going on holiday I told him that I was desperate for a striker and he told me 100 per cent he would definitely be joining us and, even after the West Sussex County Times suggested he'd not made up his mind, I contacted him again and he said it's just 'paper talk' and that it wasn't an issue so I feel really let down and I don't think he's done himself any favours.

"By signing for Peacehaven he obviously feels he's made the right move but perhaps he'll view things differently when we're playing in a new ground in a couple of years."

The manager was quick to cast aside his obvious disappointment to reflect on the more positive side of pre-season, confirming the addition of three more exciting signings as he looks to improve on last season's fifteenth place finish.

He added: "Pre-season has gone brilliantly. We've had some terrific sessions so far and everyone has shown a tremendous attitude and appetite for the game and Gary and I have had to make some tough decisions. For me, that's the big difference between this year and last. We had to turn away six trialists on Thursday and at least three of them would have made last season's side. The players we have signed have really impressed me and I'm so excited about this season that I can't wait to get going."

The majority of last season's side have already put pen to paper, including Supporters' Player of the Year Michael Hunter, James Brockhurst, Charlie Farmer, Tony Nwachukwu, Matt Simpson, Jahmahl King, Scott Harris and Billy-Joe King, and the ex-Crawley Down Gatwick triumvirate of Jamie Cade, Byron Napper and Ross Morley have also made official their move from the Haven, accompanied by former Hornet Miles Mitchell, who will be making a welcome return to the club having also ended the last campaign with the Anvils.

New signing Emmanuel Oloyede is described as a 6'3" centre-forward and he joins the club having played at Farnborough while one-time Brentford apprentice Steve Ibizugbe looks set to give Tony Nwachukwu a run for his money in every sense, having excelled over 100 metres. The 20-year-old can play at right-back or central midfield, and spent much of last season playing for Leatherhead's Under-21 side. Horsham have also extended a welcome to Nihum Green, who includes Kettering Town and Ebbsfleet among his former clubs.

Colbran (pictured) also revealed that he hopes to add striker Junior Magalhes to his squad. He is a Brazilian who has played in the Maltese top flight before having a spell at Maidenhead United last year, and there could yet be a further surprise addition before the start of the season with a decision expected to be taken on Michael Death.

Death, a former Horsham youth player, had the distinction of scoring the Hornets' final goal in a 10-1 victory over Bosham in November 2001 but failed to secure a regular place in the senior squad and has since played at Three Bridges, East Grinstead and the evocatively-named Australia League side Dandenong Thunder.

"Michael has looked really sharp so far," added Colbran. "And he's at an age where he just wants to play regular football. We'll see how things go and will expect to make a decision in a couple of weeks."

The manager revealed that he is still set to hold talks with Ryan Marriott when he returns from his summer-long overseas commitments but five players whose Horsham careers appear to be at an end, for now at least, are Abs Bolaji, Eddie Koboah, Ray Freeman and Ryan Waterman, none of whom have been at pre-season training, and Trevor McCreadie who has joined Peacehaven & Telscombe.

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