Fans’ player of the season Michael Hunter and centre back Glenn Woodburn are the latest players to pledge their immediate futures to Horsham Football Club.
Manager Simon Colbran has been delighted to keep the baulk of last season’s squad together, with captain and assistant manager Gary Charman agreeing a one-year contract this week.
Colbran has also made his first summer signing by bringing in ball-playing central midfielder Ross Morley from rivals Crawley Down.
The other Hornets who have told Colbran they will remain at the club next season are Billy-Joe King, Charlie Farmer, Jahmahl King, Tony Nwachukwu, Karley Akehurst, Scott Harris, James Brockhurst and Ray Freeman.
Colbran is still waiting to speak to Matt Simpson, but one player who has departed is striker Trevor McCreadie, whose crucial goals towards the end of the last campaign were a big part in the side’s improved end of season form.
Colbran said: “It’s brilliant news, and although no forms can be officially signed yet I’ve worked with these players for a while now and while nothing surprises me in football I trust them all to stick to their word.
“It’s great for the stability of the club and means we are now only looking to bring in another four, or at most five players who will have to be better than what we already have.”
The manager confirmed that signing a new striker would be a priority following the departure of McCreadie.
He said: “With Glenn also signing I feel like my defence is absolutely fine now, but yes I will be looking to sign a striker. I’ll probably be looking for two new midfielders and two new strikers from the four.”
Colbran believes in the capture of Morley he has a player with the ability to boss the midfield, after noticing his ability when he played a starring role in Crawley Down’s 4-1 win over his Hornets last season.
“He was excellent that day and ran the game from the middle of the park and I remember discussing how good he was with Gary afterwards,” Colbran said.
“I know John Maggs rates him very highly, he’s extremely good on the ball, can pick a pass and bring forwards into the game.
“He’ll give us something we’ve been missing, someone to really boss a game and pull all the strings, but what I like is he works hard for the team as well.”
Colbran is currently in talks with a number of other potential sigings and said he expects to have another announcement by the beginning of next week if not before.
The trial date for prospective new players has been set for July 27. Players of a good standard are being invited to take part, those interested should contact the club.