In the first of a three part series, our first update looks at new signings and retentions in defence
Starting with new faces, we’re delighted to announce the signing of Tom Champion. A commanding centre back, Tom started his professional career at Barnet, subsequently joining Bishop’s Stortford before moving on to Dartford and was an ever-present in their promotion to the National League in 2012/13. In 2013, he moved to Cambridge United, once again achieving promotion, this time to League Two. In 2015, Tom rejoined Barnet for a second spell for two seasons followed by four seasons in the National League with Boreham Wood and a season at Woking from whom he joins us. Tom will be the Rooks captain for 2022/23.
Returning in defence for 2022/23 are Lewis Carey, Tom Carlse, Will Salmon, Mitchell Nelson and Kenny Yao.
An ever-present between the sticks in 2021/22, Carey previously played for us in the 2018/19 season winning Supporters Player of the Season. Lewis came through the youth ranks at Bristol City, and is an experienced non-league keeper having appeared for Bromley, Tonbridge Angels, Eastbourne Borough and Cray Wanderers.
Having joined in the summer of 2021, left back Carlse quickly became a crowd favourite with his industrious performances and charismatic post match celebrations with the Rooks faithful. Tom made 36 appearances in the Isthmian Premier Division in 2021/22, scoring once in the home tie against Haringey Borough in November.
We’re also pleased to announce the return of similarly popular player in Will Salmon. Will initially joined on loan from Leatherhead in October and a series of impressive performances ensured that Manager Tony Russell converted that to a permanent move in November. Salmon made 30 appearances in the red and black during the season, scoring the winning goal in the away fixture at Folkestone in March.
Also returning at the back is Mitchell Nelson. An experienced and naturally gifted centre back, Nelson was among those players that joined us from Cray Wanderers in summer 2021, appearing 34 times for the Rooks in 21/22.
Finally, we can also confirm the return of Kenny Yao. Predominately a right-back but comfortable across the defence, the former Charlton player joined us in the summer from Dartford. An injury in November limited Kenny’s league appearances to 17 although he returned as regular starter towards the end of the season.
We bid a fond farewell to two players not returning in Juevan Spencer and Matt Weaire who have joined Enfield Town and Sevenoaks respectively. Our best to them both at their new clubs.
In case you missed it, you can be one of the exclusive first few to see the new and returning players train on our new state of the art pitch, buy or collect a season ticket, become an Owner and much, much more: Open training sessions at the Dripping Pan this August – Lewes Community Football Club (lewesfc.com)
We’ll have further squad updates the rest of the week.