It may be all change at Fetcham Grove in terms of personnel, but Leatherhead boss Richard Brady insists it is in the club’s best interests.
Since the Tanners won promotion to the Ryman Premier last season, four keys names – including skipper Darren Smith and top scorer Tom Bradbrook – have moved on.
Brady has responded by signing Joe Bruce, Louis Wells and Carl Rook ahead of the resumption of training yesterday (Wednesday), and he says he wants at least two more.
While some Tanners fans may be scratching their heads, asking why players are moving on when promotion has been secured, Brady has his theories.
He said: “There is a difference in the commitment required between Division One South and the Ryman Premier, starting with the practicality of more travel.
“But the difference in quality between the leagues is huge, and if a player does not have that self belief then he won’t make the step up.
“When I was a player, I wanted to play at the highest level possible, but not everyone is like that.”
He added: “The players I have brought in have experience at Ryman Premier and Conference level. That is what we need.
“Winning promotion has opened our doors to a different standard of player. I said to them that if Leatherhead were still in Division One South we’d not be having this conversation, and they agreed.”
“Now it is down to me to make sure we get that blend right in the team and build something that will work in the Ryman Premier.”
The fixtures for the Ryman Premier will be released on July 14, with Brady nonplussed about facing the big teams.
He said: “We’re eager to get going, it does not matter who we’re playing, it’s all about the bigger grounds, the bigger clubs and the bigger challenge.”
Two names definitely staying at Fetcham Grove are Richard Brady and Jerry Nnamani.