Quirke on board as Thomas begins rebuilding process at Poppies

Ben Ford has been offered a deal by Kettering Town for next season
Ben Ford has been offered a deal by Kettering Town for next season

Dean Thomas has begun the rebuilding process at Kettering Town after goalkeeper Michael Quirke agreed to re-sign for the club for next season.

The former Coventry City youngster impressed during the back end of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division campaign and has become the first player to agree terms for the new season, which is likely to see the Poppies playing in the Southern League Division One Central.

And Thomas is set to continue the early stages of putting together a new-look squad by attempting to pin down other members of last season’s team.

Ben Ford has been offered a deal after he was released by Nuneaton Town while Thomas is also set to meet Chris Logan, Nathan Hicks and Dan Crowie tonight (Thursday).

But the new Poppies boss insists it will be a “patient game” for him during the summer months.

“I met Ritchie Jeune last week just to go over a few things and now the planning can really start,” Thomas said.

“I know where I am with the budget and I am going to meet three of last season’s squad tonight as well.

“We want to keep Ben (Ford) at the club and we have made him an offer. And I am very happy that Michael has agreed to stay. I thought he did very well for us towards the end of last season.

“I want to base our squad around these lads because they performed well under difficult circumstances.

“And I will be busy over the next two or three weeks before I have a short break and then get back into it again.

“It is a patient job trying to build a new squad and it is going to be an important season for us. I am not going to go straight into things quickly.

“I will be speaking to an experienced midfielder at the weekend and it will be important for us to strike a balance between youth and experience.

“We also need to get a couple of centre forwards on board and I have already spoken to two.

“But there will be more players becoming available at the end of this month and we will have a good look round to see what is out there.”