CONCORD Rangers midfielder James White has admitted he came close to joining former manager Danny Cowley at Braintree Town, before agreeing a new deal with the Beach Boys.

The 26-year-old enforcer was a strong presence in the centre as Concord finished seventh in the league last season, forging an impressive partnership with the robust Alex Woodyard.

And White has now agreed to stay on at the Aspect Arena, after a prospective move to Braintree collapsed, where he will link up with new manager, and former team-mate, Adam Flanagan.

“I had a conversation with Flan (Flanagan) and the chairman (Antony Smith) pretty much straight after the end of the season at the presentation night and said a couple of clubs were interested in me,” he said. “I told them I didn't want to make a decision quickly and asked for some time as after 50 games you want to take a bit of time out.

“I had this last summer with Dover and it is similar this time around. Concord is not an easy place to leave.

“The main interest came from Braintree,” continued White, who said he also had interest from a number of National League South clubs. “I spoke to Dan and he spoke to the club but he is working in a very different way there (at Braintree) than he was here. He was waiting on the future of another player and they decided to stay, but that is not why I decided to stay. I wanted to give myself the option to look at different possibilities.

“But I didn't want to be unfair on Concord and now I am itching to get back out there.”

Cowley, who left Concord at the end of the season, has already brought defender Matt Fry from his former club, with the future of White’s midfield partner Woodyard also undecided.

However, the rest of the successful team, who retained their Essex Senior Cup title last season, has agreed to stay at the National League South outfit.

Flanagan has already added Tom Stephen, Conor Gough and Sam Bantick to his team, with East Thurrock United midfielder Max Cornhill agreeing a move to the club last Thursday.

And White says he is excited at the club’s prospects.

“Ad will do well,” he said. “I played with him at Dartford for three years and I know him as a player so it will be interesting to play under him. It will be different to how it was when Dan was here but that was always going to happen.

“I know of a couple of the players he has brought in but the fact he has managed to keep the bulk of the squad together is massive and we now aim to replicate the successes we have had recently.”