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Barking announce a host of new signings and the return of seven from last campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 July 2018

Barking pose for a team photo in pre-season (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Barking pose for a team photo in pre-season (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Archant

Barking FC announced the signing of five new players and seven re-signings ahead of the 2018/19 Bostik North season last week.

Gary Cohen (Pic: Terry Gilbert)Gary Cohen (Pic: Terry Gilbert)

Manager Justin Gardner moved to bring in the likes of Gary Cohen, Jack Edwards, Joe Benjamin, Joe Bruce and Connor Pearce.

The Mayesbrook Park outfit also retained Ben O’Brien, Billy Reynolds, Jordan Peart, Jack McQueen, Emmanuel Olajide, JJ Da Cruz and Alan Taylor.

Forward Cohen has previously played for Grimsby Town, St Albans, Hornchurch and Soham Town Rangers.

Midfielders Edwards also joins the club with a wealth of experience at a young age having been captain of the youth team at Southend United.

After leaving Roots Hall he ended up at Billericay Town before moving on to play for Aveley.

Another midfielder signed up is Benjamin, who has played for Harlow Town, Bury Town and Billericay Town.

Former Grays Athletic and Thurrock defender Bruce also penned a deal with the Blues, before former VCD Athletic keeper Pearce also signed on.

The Mayesbrook Park club also announced the return of the club’s fifth-highest appearance holder O’Brien.

The defender has made 349 appearances for the side, including captaining the team that won the Essex Senior League in 2016/17.

Reynolds is also back in blue and has made 62 appearances overall having returned from serious injury last season.

Winger Peart, who joined from Aveley and went on to make 17 appearances last term, is staying on for another season and defender McQueen, who impressed in his debut last season and captained the club’s youth team, will make the step up to first-team action permanently.

Goalkeeper Olajide returns after impressing last term in his 15 appearances since joining from Essex Senior League outfit Clapton.

Defender Da Cruz has signed on for another season at Barking after joining from Cheshunt mid-way through last term.

The former Hornchurch man went to make 20 appearances for the club.

The final signing was winger Taylor who found the net five times in 41 appearances for the Blues last term.

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