Non-League preview: Jordan Chiedozie signing strengthens Concord Rangers bid

John Sands - rated 50/50 by Danny Heale

John Sands - rated 50/50 by Danny Heale

First published in Sport by

CONCORD RANGERS have snapped up exciting young striker Jordan Chiedozie for the new season.

The 20-year-old, who has recently been on trial at Southend United, will go straight into the squad to face Bath City tomorrow.

Formerly of Bournemouth, the striker made an immediate impression for Concord, finding the net within ten minutes of a trial game at Maidstone United last month.

He was then spotted by Blues boss Phil Brown in a recent pre-season friendly between the League Two and Conference South side and spent several games with Southend, before returning to Concord and signing a deal yesterday.

Beachboys boss Danny Cowley said it was a brilliant signing.

“We are very pleased to have him,” he said. “We know what a clinical finisher he is and he looks really sharp in training. There was a lot of interest in him and I have no doubt he will do well for us.

“We have had ten players move onto Football League clubs and I have no doubt he has the potential to be the next one.”

Cowley added his side see the first two games (against Bath and Ebbsfleet United) as “free games” as they lost both encounters last year but added he had a fully-fit squad to choose from.

“We are taking the pressure off ourselves for these games as we can only do better than we did last year. We have prepared well and added Jordan so if we can get a point or two that would be great.”

Cowley’s team went down 2-0 to Bath on the final day of last season and lost the previous encounter 3-1, with the visitors’ goal coming from last year’s players’ player and supporters’ player of the season Sam Collins.

Canvey Island are another side hoping to get off to a better start in 2014/15 but, unlike their island rivals, they have a host of injury concerns.

The Gulls lost their first three games of the 2013/14 season and Danny Heale is under no illusions that the opening to this season provides just as stern a test. The visitors to the Prospects Stadium tomorrow are Bognor Regis Town, who finished in the play-offs last year.

Canvey could be without three first team regulars tomorrow, with John Easterford (eye) and John Sands (thigh) doubtful and Freddie Warren (thigh/ lower back) out for a fortnight.

Canvey endured a torrid time against the Rocks last year, conceding eight goals in their two league matches.

Meanwhile, East Thurrock United have been busy in the past week, adding three new players to their ranks. Ex-Concord Rangers winger Reece Harris, recently released Billericay Town striker Javlon Campbell and ex-Partick Thistle midfielder Alan Vezza have arrived to strengthen Rocks, with many tipping them to struggle this year having only survived on the final day last campaign.

Promotion hopefuls AFC Hornchurch are the visitors to Rookery Hill, and they will be looking for a repeat of last year’s result (which they won 2-1). The hosts could be without Ross Parmenter (hamstring) and Mitchell Gilbey (foot).

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