Club stalwarts Tom Bender and Zane Banton have joined club captain David Noble by signing new deals at Clarence Park this week.
Noble, who was honoured by his peers on Saturday by collecting the Players’ Player of the year award at the club presentation evening, will return after helping City secure survival through a string of pivotal performances.
Manager Ian Allinson was quick to praise his influential midfielder as he looks to prepare his side ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
“David was nothing short of tremendous for me last season. There was talk about it being his last in football but I think he’s shown that if he’s managed correctly, he can be as vital now as he’s ever been for the club”.
“He had that ankle injury last year that kept him out for a while and I wasn’t sure where he would be both physically and mentally with it. The time off seemed to fuel his hunger for the game and we’ve subsequently benefited because of it”.
“He’s a leader and is well respected. You don’t win the players’ player award by going through the motions and he’s stepped up a level this time around and I think he’ll carry that into the next campaign”.
Tom Bender has also agreed terms at the club for a sixth season. Our longest serving player made no hesitation in putting pen to paper following another sterling campaign, much to the delight of the manager.
“Tom has been nothing less than exemplary for me and it’s a massive boost to have him on board for another year” commented Allinson.
“I like the way he plays the game but more importantly I like the way he presents himself on and off the pitch. He’s another lad who leads from the front and the way he goes about his business is exactly the kind of work ethic I look for in a human being”.
Bender has just recently achieved 200 games for the Saints and his addition will help bring reliability and leadership to the defensive ranks once more.
Reliability is a term that can also be applied to midfielder Zane Banton.
The talented winger recovered from his broken leg last year to finally become a key component in our attacking play and a real goal threat to boot.
Allinson explained “ Zane is a great lad and like with both David and Tom, he’s shown fantastic loyalty to us. He’s worked hard on his fitness and it’s almost like having a new player at times.”
“It’s his fourth year here and he hasn’t let injuries get in the way of his progression. He’s chipped in with nine goals which is a good return but it’s the energy he brings to the equation which is the most impressive dynamic to his game”.
“Without fail, he’ll easily rack up over 12,000 yards a game according to our tracker technology. Just comprehend that for a second, his dedication to the club and his teammates is flawless”.
“I’m glad he’s decided to sign a new deal and with these three already on board, I now have an excellent nucleus to which to build a team around.”
One departure from Clarence Park over the weekend that we can confirm is that of Sam Merson. Sam scored 48 goals in 165 games for the Saints and we wish him all the best going forward.
There are more player announcements in the pipeline so make sure you’re following the club on social media to hear the news first.