Stringer quick to strengthen squad

Luke Keen
Luke Keen

Rugby Town returned to training last week with three new signings in tow, after boss Dave Stringer was quick to add to last season’s sixth placed finishing squad.

Stringer has raided neighbours Long Buckby’s UCL Premier Division winning side with the arrival of Craig Kelly, Fazel Koriya and Rob Foster at Butlin Road.

All three players had been targets of the club over recent years, with left-back Kelly actually featuring in a Valley shirt in the 2006/07 pre-season.

The one-time Coventry City schoolboy Kelly left Town before the start of the full campaign though and went on to feature at Daventry and Banbury, as well as Long Buckby where he has racked up more than 200 appearances in a number of spells at the club over the past six years.

Koriya can operate as a winger or as a striker, and lists Bedworth, Brackley, Rothwell and Cogenhoe amongst his ex-clubs.

Again he has also had a number of spells at Buckby, with last season’s contribution by far his most impressive – after he notched 25 goals in total.

27 year old Foster is a centre-forward with an impressive scoring record in non-league football over the years. He was top marksman for Nuneaton in his first season there as part of their 2008-09 Southern League Midland Division promotion success, having joined them from Cogenhoe. He has also since played at Banbury, before joining Long Buckby at the start of last season – where he registered 24 times in 43 appearances.

The Northamptonshire side were denied promotion to the Southern League structure on ground grading restrictions despite their impressive championship success, and Stringer will be hoping that the trio bring their winning formula to Valley for the 2012/13 league campaign – which kicks-off for real on August 18.

However, Town have lost the services of last season’s leading scorer Luke Keen, after the striker made the switch to newly-promoted Southern League Premier club Bedworth – where he could team up with another ex-Valley attacker David Kolodynski, who also has signed for the Greenbacks this summer.

There have been a couple of further amendments to Rugby’s pre-season schedule, with the addition of another testing home friendly against Blue Square Conference North opposition in the form of Corby Town on July 31 – which replaces the planned practice game against Coventry Copsewood.

This Saturday’s match against Atherstone, which was supposed to be an away fixture, will now be played on the Butlin Road astroturf pitch – kicking off at 12noon.