It’s been a fairly busy summer so far at the Abbey, and as pre-season starts this week we decided to take a look at some of the new faces who’ll be appearing in Amber & Black this season.
The club moved quickly to tie down key-players to new contracts, and whilst we wait on Paul Mullin to decide his future it was great to see Wes Hoolahan and Paul Digby sign new deals. There’s not much left to say on Hoolahan, comfortably one of the best players to have ever donned the U’s shirt, but Paul Digby was a massive part of our success last season, who was severely missed during his short spell on the sidelines with injury. The club have also extended the contracts of youth prospects Ben Worman and Lewis Simper, of whom big things are expected.
We have five new faces so far this season, including Liam Bennett who joins from AFC Sudbury via St Neots. He’s a young full back, and has been bought in more as a face for the future rather than someone who will be straight into the first team picture.
More will be known about Lloyd Jones, previously of Liverpool, Luton and Northampton, a 25 year old centre back with a bit of a chequered past but looking to kick on at United. We’re pretty light in that department with only Greg Taylor on the books as a senior player in that position so we expect the club to bring in another CB before the start of the season, but Jones has experience of this division so should be a starter.
We’ve also added the experienced George Williams to the defence as a replacement for Kyle Knoyle. Williams has a lot of experience at this level, spending 5 seasons with MK Dons and more recently at Bristol Rovers. Whether he’ll be able to hit Knoyle’s standards remains to be seen but he looks like a decent addition.
In midfield the club have added two faces, James Brophy joining from Leyton Orient where he impressed on the left side last season, and Jack Lankester. It’s Lankester who looks the most exciting having played for Ipswich in the Championship but having suffered with injuries recently. Ipswich fans seem to rate him highly and he’s an attacking midfielder so should hopefully learn from Wes and be an asset for us if he can stay injury-free. With the previous addition of Shilow Tracey it looks like Bonner could be looking to play with a bit more width this season, but either way it’s good to have pace and options available to us.
Leaving United this year are Kyle Knoyle who goes to Doncaster, Callum Burton who has recently joined Plymouth and Luke Hannant who drops back to League Two to sign for Colchester United.