ROB Cousins believes Tom Warren will add valuable experience and leadership to his youthful Yate Town squad.
Defender Warren has begun his third spell with the club after leaving Southern League rivals Bridgwater Town, with midfielder Dale Evans also signing from Cinderford.
He was named Supporters’ Player of the Season after helping Yate reach the first round proper of the FA Cup and finish sixth in Division One South & West of the Southern League in the 2012-13 season but a mass player exodus saw him join Shortwood United briefly.
Warren first moved to Yate from Bitton in the summer of 2009 and he returned to the club in 2011 after a six-month spell at Almondsbury Town, who disbanded at the time.
Yate manager Cousins said: “He’s got experience at this level. He’s got something to offer as a player and a leader.
“He’s played at Yate for a number of years, he’s openly said he regretted leaving, he thought the grass was greener and he made a mistake. He said the time he spent at Yate under our management was the best football he’s played and he wants to get back to that level. He’s man enough to admit that openly, so let’s go forward.”
Cousins has missed out on two other targets from Cinderford but he hopes to make more signings before the season begins on Saturday, August 9 and defender Andy Lewis could make the move from the Foresters after he played in Yate’s 2-0 pre-season defeat against Swindon Town last Friday.
Trialists Liam Knight, a midfielder who played for Brislington last season, and left-sided player Nuno Felix, who began the previous campaign before moving to Clevedon Town for more first team football, both came off the bench against the League One side.
“We’re still on the lookout. We’ll see in the other pre-season friendlies how well they’re coming on, look at their fitness levels and if we feel they’re up to the mark and can help push us forward because we don’t want to stagnate and go backwards.
“I was impressed by Andy, he did very well. The young lads came on and did really well – Joe Guest in particular was impressive when he came on – and Tom Warren slotted back in like he hasn’t been away
“Liam Knight has shown in the first few sessions that he’s very fit. He’s very similar to Brad (Abraham) in that he can get around the pitch and he’s obviously not frightened to put his foot in.
“Nuno Felix wanted to come back and prove himself so we’ve given him the opportunity with no guarantees. It’s up to them to prove their worth.”
Jake Cox could miss the start of the season after breaking his wrist, while defender Mitch Harrison did not feature against Swindon as he had only just returned from holiday.
One player unlikely to return is Sam Kamara, who went “AWOL” according to Cousins towards the end of last season.
Cousins was pleased with how his side performed against a strong Swindon outfit, who took the lead on the hour mark through Celvin Kalinga with Australian international Massimo Luongo adding the second in stoppage time.
“We competed well and kept a good shape. In the second half we tried to change things with players that don’t know each other and some of them got opened up a little bit.
“We didn’t discredit ourselves, we worked hard, had half chances but that’s why they’re full-time and we’re not.
“It was always going to be about fitness levels and getting people through the gate, letting people have a look at them and Yate Town.”
Yate's next pre-season friendly is away to Brislington on Thursday, July 24.