GRESLEY’S summer recruitment drive is going well after retaining 12 players and bringing in five new signings – including a former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper.
Tom Turner (pictured), 21, was with the Trotters for three years, and has also spent time with Grimsby Town, Stafford Rangers and Burton Albion.
He will compete for the Moatmen’s number one jersey with Alex Townsend, who has signed fresh terms along with defenders Jamie Barrett, Mitch Hanson, Matt Roome, Lucas Harrison and Marc Strzyzewski, midfielders Eric Graves and Mickey Lyons, and forwards Kieran O’Connell, Alex Steadman, Bradley Wells and Rob Spencer.
John Guy and Zibusiso Nyatitio are on holiday at the moment but are expected to sign on their return.
In addition, defender Tom Land and midfielder Jack Langston will return to the club, while three newcomers – Rob Mulonga, Rob Richie-Smith and Turner – have also come on board.
Mulonga and Richie-Smith are both midfielders, and have arrived from Shepshed Dynamo and Mickleover Sports respectively.
“We are in a far better position this season that we were at this point last season,” said Moat boss Rowe.
“Last year, we weren’t quite fit enough and we had changed a lot of personnel.
“That all led to us having a bit of a difficult start to the campaign.”
Land and Langston will need little introduction to Gresley fans, the former being the son of Moat legend Gil Land, and having spent just under a year with the club back in 2010.
Langston was with Gresley last season, and after leaving to join a club closer to home, has seen the error of his ways.
On Land, Rowe said: “When we had Tom before he was a bit younger and, let’s admit it, a bit cocky.
“But that’s been knocked out of him I think, he’s certainly a lot older now – he just needed to grow up a bit.
“He will be out to impress and he wants to do well for the club so I expect him to be pushing the likes of Jamie (Barrett) and Strez for a place.
“With losing Liam Guest, we needed cover at centre-half.”
Guest could still be part of Rowe’s plans next season, but has applied for a football scholarship in America, which he is expected to take up in the coming weeks providing his documentation comes through.
Also leaving the club is forward Paolo Piliero, who has joined Heanor Town after becoming a father and wanting a club closer to home.