REDDITCH United manager Darren Byfield has swooped to sign former Walsall and Tamworth winger Jake Jones.
The Reds boss now plans to announce more new arrivals over the next few days as he gears up for his second season in charge of the Southern League Premier Division side.
“Jake is someone who I spoke to last season,” said Byfield. “He was eager to come and play for Redditch and it is those sort of players who I want at the club.
“His background is with a professional club and he has a fire within him which I can manage. I want winners at this football club. I learnt a lot last year and realised I need winners here and he certainly fits the bill.
“He has an ability to go past players. My plan is to be successful at Redditch and to do that I need players with the X-Factor – players who, when they pick the ball up, get the fans excited. ‘Jonah’ will do that, create things and score goals.”
Jones had a spell on loan at Redditch in the 2011/12 season, coming on loan from Walsall along with current Alvechurch wideman Connor Deards.
The 24-year-old is delighted to work with Byfield as he looks to get his career back on track after a nightmare season plagued by injury.
“I’ve been around a bit since coming here on loan,” Jones admitted. “I’ve learnt a lot and matured a lot since then. I think I’ve been to every non-League club in the Midlands but I’m looking to settle down somewhere now.
“I had a bad time with injuries last season when I fractured both ankles and stopped playing for a while. I had signed for Stafford Rangers and did my left ankle. Then, in my first game back, I fell awkwardly on my right ankle in the last minute of the game.
“It was one of those things but it put me in a bad place – mentally, physically and financially – because I couldn’t work.
“I feel ready now to come back and start enjoying my football again. Things are sorted financially and I’ve got the buzz back.
“I can focus on my football again and this is a good opportunity for me being able to work with Daz. I know him having worked with him before. He was a pro at Walsall when I was a youth team player there and then he was player-coach at Tamworth when I was there.
“I’ve learnt a lot over the last two years – not just in football but in life as well.”
MEANWHILE, the Reds have revealed their pre-season friendlies schedule, which begins with a visit to Coleshill Town on Saturday, July 1.
Full list: Sat Jul 1 – Coleshill Town (A)
Tue Jul 4 – Halesowen Town (H)
Sat Jul 8 – Coventry United (A)
Tue Jul 11 – Walsall Wood (H)
Sat Jul 15 – Bromsgrove Sporting (H)
Tue Jul 18 – Kidderminster Harriers (H, Worcestershire Senior Cup)
Sat Jul 22 – Worcs Senior Cup final or third place play-off (venue TBC)
Tue Jul 25 – Stourbridge (A)
Sat Jul 29 – Boldmere St Michaels (A)
Tue Aug 1 – Stafford Rangers (H)
Sat Aug 5 – Alvechurch (A)