Who have Weston signed so far? Seagulls' squad takes shape ahead of preseason
PUBLISHED: 13:52 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 21 June 2018
Weston-super-Mare Football Club's squad is taking shape ahead of the new national league campaign, and with preseason kicking off in the coming days here is a run down of who the club has signed so far.
More players are expected to agree to non-contract terms as preseason progresses, but with just six weeks remaining until the season opener manager Marc McGregor has already got a number of deals over the line.
Luke Purnell (Goalkeeper)
Academy graduate Purnell has held the number-one shirt since 2014, becoming a key figure in the dressing room and a fan favourite. The 28-year-old kept six clean sheets in 42 games last term, and has notched up 180 league appearances for the Seagulls.
He signed a contract extension to keep him in BS24 until the end of the 2018/19 campaign in January, and assistant boss Rob Boyd said the Hans Price PE teacher provides ‘stability to build upon’.
Jason Pope (Defender)
Pope first joined the Seagulls on loan from Exeter City in 2014 for a stint in midfield marred by injuries. He returned on a permanent deal the following season, and forged a role for himself in the heart of defence. He is often seen carrying the ball out from the back and sparking counter attacks.
Now aged 22, Pope is an ever-present member of the starting 11 – playing all 42 league games last season.
George Morris-Edwards (Defender)
The youngster made his first foray into first-team football last season after impressing in the under-18s, making three starts in the National League South. Big things are expected of the cultured centre-half at the Woodspring.
After signing his contract, he said: “I’m really pleased to have signed a contract with Weston and I’m excited to be part of the coming season. It’s great I’ve been given the chance to continue my progression with the club.”
Jacob Cane (Midfielder, captain)
The Seagulls skipper moved to the Woodspring in 2014 after being released by Exeter City, and has since become a pivotal member of the squad. His tireless running, tough tackling and timely goalscoring have made him immensely popular among the Seagull Army – and he is undoubtedly worthy of donning the armband.
The 24-year-old inked an extension to his contract in February, keeping him at the club for the coming campaign.
Jarrad Welch (Midfielder)
Weston announced this week Welch had agreed to terms to stay at the Woodspring Stadium for another year after impressing in the second half of the season. The Welsh teenager joined the club last summer from Cardiff City, and scored six goals in 37 appearances – including a couple of goal-of-the-season contenders. The fiery midfielder boasts supreme ability, and McGregor expects him to be a central to Weston’s ambitions this season.
The Seagulls boss said: “Jarrad worked really hard last season and played some quality football. He is a young man who could break into the Football League if developed in the correct way. If he continues to develop we could see league clubs knocking on our door for his services.”
Tom Llewellyn (Midfielder)
The midfielder is the son of Bristol City and Weston legend Andy Llewellyn, and his brother Jake also graduated the Seagulls’ academy before making dozens of first-team appearances. Tom made his debut at Dartford in August after impressing in the under-18s, coming off the bench to score from long range in stoppage time – and he is confident of enjoying more success in Weston colours.
He said: “It feels good to be signing my first ever contract and hopefully the first of many. I’m so excited about the forthcoming season and looking forward to it being successful.”
Gethyn Hill (Striker)
The Welshman was Weston’s top scorer last term, netting an impressive 19 goals in just 27 league starts. He joined from Cinderford Town for an undisclosed fee in 2016, and signed a new contract in May.
The prospect of him linking with new signing Jamie Lucas in a front two will excite Weston fans, but Football League clubs could come knocking for 23-year-old Hill after he caught the eye of scouts earlier this month at Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, which aims to help hidden gems find a place in professional football.
Jamie Lucas (Striker)
McGregor believes he has assembled a ‘formidable’ striking partnership after attracting the 22-year-old back to BS24. He enjoyed two prosperous loan spells at the Woodspring in the 2014-15 campaign which saw him net 12 goals in 21 games. Since he has turned out for Woking and Boreham Wood in the National League, in addition to playing for Somerset rivals Bath City.
McGregor said: “This is a major signing for us and Jamie will link up with Gethyn to provide a formidable partnership. We’ll need more goals next season and Jamie fits the bill brilliantly.”