Tamworth have added three new recruits to their squad ahead of the new season – and there are some familiar faces returning to The Lamb.
Ex-Birmingham City winger Jack Concannon, a shining light whilst on loan during Tamworth’s first season at Step 3, has re-signed for the club after his release from the Blues.
Following that loan spell, the 21-year-old broke into the first team at The St Andrews but found himself without a contract this summer.
Although joint boss Gary Smith admits Concannon’s long-term future might not be with Tamworth, he’s glad he can help the youngster prove his credentials.
“What a fantastic professional he [Jack Concannon] is.” Smith said.
“When he was first with us, we saw what he was capable of. He went back to Birmingham City, and he made his way into their senior team and made his debut after being with us.
“That just gives you a measure of the level and the calibre of the player he is. Sometimes football has a habit of kicking you in the teeth and sadly, that’s what happened with Jack when he was released.
“I’ve been in contact with him ever since he left last time and I’ve been wishing him well and making sure he gets the opportunity he gets.
“I’ve kept tabs on him and his career so obviously, when he was released, that put the wheels in motion.
“He wants to be playing regularly and he’s had some trials that didn’t work out, but I always told him the door would be open for him at Tamworth, even if it’s just somewhere to play his football and keep fit until such time when he gets that deal at a club higher up the leagues.
“We’re giving him that platform to go and showcase his skills and we’re all hoping he gets back into the professional game.”
Jordan Clement is also back as Tamworth look to fill the void left by impressive attacking midfielder Bilal Yafai.
Clement, 22, left the club two seasons ago to go in search of regular football. Since then, he’s impressed at Redditch United and ended last season as the league’s top scorer.
Smith has worked with Clement a few times in the past and was instrumental in the midfielder’s initial switch to The Lamb from Coleshill Town.
“Jordan’s the type of player who needs to be playing and enjoying his football for us to get the best out of him,” Smith said.
“He needs people he can relate to, and that’s what he’s got at Tamworth. He knows we’re going to tell him when he’s doing well but he also knows to expect us to tell him when he isn’t.
“He knows me well and I know him well and I didn’t want him to leave in the first place. I was gutted when he decided to leave but at that time, chances to play were limited and he just wanted to play football.
“He’s gone elsewhere and proved his quality by playing regularly and I think re-signing him is a no-brainer because his quality speaks for itself.”
Smith says the third new addition will provide not only cover, but also competition for goalkeeper Jas Singh.
Keelan Fallows has penned a deal after impressing during pre-season, that after his release from Coventry City last season.
Smith feels it’s important to have competition everywhere on the pitch.
“Jas needs pushing just like any of the outfield players do,” he said.
“Goalkeepers need that push too – someone to keep them on their toes – because that’s the environment we want to create, we want competition for places, and it means you have to keep playing well to keep your shirt.
“By adding Keelan, who has come out of Coventry City’s academy, it’s a fantastic move. He’s a good lad and he’s showed his worth during pre-season when he’s had the opportunity to play, and we feel it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t keep him on board.”