Former Southampton under-18s and under-23s captain one of several acquisitions made by Fareham Town this summer

Fareham Town manager Pete Stiles is excited to see some of his summer signings in action for the first time on Saturday.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:50 pm
Hawks defender Lawson Bright has dual-signed with Fareham Town for this season. Picture: Kieron Louloudis

The Reds begin their pre-season friendly programme with a trip to Hampshire Premier League outfit Colden Common.

Stiles could include some of his six new additions - Ben Rowthorn, Lawson Bright, Ollie Purcer, David Parker Dan Bennett and Sam Kessack.

Some of those fresh faces arrive with solid pedigree with versatile Rowthorn having captained Southampton under-18s and under-23s prior to stints at Dorchester Town, Truro City and Wessex Leaguers Romsey Town.

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Rowthorn, 22, was released by Saints in 2019 after starting four games for the club’s under-23s and under-21s in the EFL Trophy over three seasons.

Teenage defender Bright, dual-signed from National League South Havant & Waterlooville, has moved to Cams Alders for some much-needed minutes in senior football this season after regularly training with Paul Doswell's first team at Westleigh Park last term.

Parker, who serves in the Navy, plays for the Combined Services team and was previously associated with National League outfit North Blyth Spartans.

It's a crop of new signings who excite Stiles, and he's looking forward to getting his first look at them.

The Fareham boss said: 'Obviously fitness levels and things like that - I’ll be taking quite a big squad over to Colden Common and probably most of them will just play a half.

‘We’ve got three decent friendlies coming up, we’ve got Littlehampton who are a very good side, we’ve got the Royal Navy team and then we’ve got Salisbury.

‘That’s three tough games and I just want to make my mind up on a couple of things and we’re also trying out different formations and things like that - we want to use it (Colden Common friendly) for that sort of thing, really.

‘I’m quite happy with my squad and I’m looking forward to it (first friendly).

‘It’s a shame because I had a good squad (last season) - I think I’ve got another good squad, but it’s going to be a dog eat dog sort of season.’

Fareham lost both Jack Breed and Casey Bartlett-Scott, who went to play professionally in Gibraltar and America respectively, before the curtailment of the 2020/21 season.

Both George Davies (retiring) and Ronan Galloway (AFC Stoneham) have also moved on, and defender Archie Willcox is still weighing up his options over where to play in 2021/22.