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|THREE `NEW` BADGERS
UniBond League Premier Division club Eastwood Town made three new signings ahead of Saturday`s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Guiseley.
Rejoining the Badgers is striker Peter Knox, while Danny Sleath has signed from Mansfield Town and young keeper Shane Redmond on a month`s loan from Coca-Cola Championship neighbours Nottingham Forest.
Knox has finally returned to the Badgers after a `season in exile` with three different clubs – Hednesford Town, Alfreton Town and, most recently, Hucknall Town.
Knox (right) scored over 100 goals in his three seasons with Eastwood before moving to Hednesford at the end of the 2006/07 season after he helped fire the Badgers to promotion by scoring forty goals.
Eastwood boss Paul Cox said: “Knoxy is a player that I know very well and is has been a big decision for the player and myself for him to return to the club.
“It seems that since he left the rumours about him returning have never stopped, especially since Robert Yong joined as chairman.
“The truth is that we have only tried to bring him back once - when we lost David Brown to Bradford City last season when we made a £4,500 offer to Alfreton but he ended up moving to Hucknall.
“I know this may be a controversial signing with some fans who were very upset when he left a year ago, but the truth is that I already knew that he wanted a new challenge well before the end of the season and he still gave 100% every game to help get us promoted.
“It was never a money issue as some people thought – he was no better off with the additional costs of travelling to Hednesford. He is at the peak age for a striker and still scored over twenty goals last season, despite being unsettled at three different clubs - he is desperate to score goals for Eastwood and be part of this new era.”
Sleath (pictured above) came through Mansfield Town’s academy to make fifteen first-team appearances of which nine were as a substitute.
Following his release from Mansfield at the end of last season he decided to enrol at Loughborough University and pursue a career outside of full-time professional football.
He has been courted by a number of Blue Square North clubs, including Gainsborough Trinity, and had the opportunity to return to Mansfield under the new management. However, he signed for the Badgers.
Cox added: “My interest in Danny goes back a few months to when we signed Ian Holmes. The player was at Mansfield with Holmsey and they both had the same agent. However, the lad wanted some time out from football to decide what he wanted to do with his career so we remained patient and just kept in touch.
“Our priority was to strengthen the left side but I wanted a natural left footer – I looked at a few players in our league but they did not quite fit the bill, so hopefully Danny will give us a good option in this area.
“He has maintained a good level of fitness since leaving Mansfield but he needs to get a few games under his belt to get 100% match fit.”
Redmond is already a member of Forest’s first-team squad and is a graduate of their youth Academy. He is also a Republic of Ireland under-21 international.
The player has been recommended to Cox by Forest coach John Pemberton and joins the Badgers on an initial one month loan with an option to extend, subject to agreement between the two clubs.
Cox commented: “Ian Deakin has been struggling with injuries for most of the season. He has played bravely through the pain barrier when we should probably have rested him and I feel he now needs some time to get himself right.
“Alex Goddard has done an excellent job deputising for Deaks but we have some crucial fixtures coming up and I don’t want to put the lad under too much pressure at such a young age.
“Forest have been singing the praises of Shane Redmond for a few weeks now so I went to the City Ground last week to have a look at him.
“The last player Forest loaned us was David Brown and we all know what an impact he had last season so I just hope Shane can do the same.
“We have agreed an initial one month loan but Forest have said they would like the lad to get as much experience as possible this season so you never know, he may become a more permanent fixture, we’ll have to wait and see.”
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