JOHN Coventry is looking forward to working with some familiar faces at East Thurrock United next season.

Lewis Smith, Mitch Gilbey, Frankie Merrifield, Adam Topley, Morisi Gelashvili, Jason Ring and Jordan Brown will be involved in Isthmian Premier League football with Rocks in the forthcoming campaign.

Smith, Gilbey and Ring are back at Rookery Hill for a second spell and Coventry is pleased to have agreed terms for the trio to return.

“Lewis left us because I knew he couldn’t commit to National League South football last season due to his job,” said the East Thurrock boss.

“But we are no longer in the National League South and I wanted to bring him back.

“Lewis is a close friend of mine and it will be great to have him with us again.

“Mitch has been with us before and I have been involved with Jason before in youth football.

“He has done well in non-league football after playing for us when we had a reserves team.

“Jason was also in my college team and I have always monitored his progress.

“He had a good season in the Isthmian North with Great Wakering Rovers, where I understand he was consistently one of their best defenders, so I thought it was a good time to bring him back here.”

Smith and Gilbey have joined from Isthmian North side Tilbury, while Frankie Merrifield and Jordan Brown have made the move from divisional rivals Canvey Island.

Adam Topley has made the move after coming through the youth set-up at Concord Rangers and Gelashvili, a 21-year-old who has gained experience in his homeland of Georgia, has been welcomed to Rookery Hill following spells with Stanway Rovers and Brightlingsea Regent.

And Coventry is pleased to have persuaded some of the best local talent in non-league football to join Rocks.

“As a manager you keep tabs on players throughout the season,” added Coventry.

“Frankie has experience in professional football, having played for AFC Wimbledon, and has also played in the National League South with Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford City.

“He played up front for Canvey towards the end of last season and I know he enjoyed it and scored lots of goals from that position.

“We have brought in some players who have impressed in the divisions below and I’m pleased with who we have signed so far.”