GRAYS Athletic boss Jody brown has made two new signings and promises more to come as the Ryman Premier side go into the second half of the season.
Defender Luis Morrison-Derbyshire , 20, has joined from Hampton and Richmond Borough while former Southend United midfielder Merrick James-Lewis has been recruited from Walton Casuals.
Brown saysJames-Lewis will be a good addition to the squad after closely monitoring his progress in recent weeks, adding: “Merrick fits the criteria in terms of his technical ability and physical stature. He has a good pedigree having grown up in the professional game and at 22 is still developing,”
James-Lewis joined Southend’s academy from Fulham and turned professional in 2010 at the age of 18, going on to make six League appearances for the Shrimpers. Loan moves to conference clubs followed until he joined Colchester United in 2012 before dropping into non-league again playing for Farnborough and Cray Wanderers.before joining Casuals, who play in Ryman Division One South.
“We need to add numbers, and have had Merrick in training for 5/6 sessions as well as an u21 game, and we all feel he has the ability to push to be in our 11on any given match day,” added Brown.
Morrison-Derbyshire is a former Arsenal and Stevenage Borough trainee who moved to Scandinavia to Scandinavia where he played professionally in Sweden and Finland before joining Farnborough for the remainder of the 2013-14 season last January. He signed for Conference South side Maidenhead United at the start of the current campaign before joining Hampton & Richmond Borough in late October. Before dopping into non-league football Luis also spent time on trial at Leeds United and Wrexham.
Brown said: “He’s another ambitious youngster, with good pedigree. We need competition at centre-back, and he brings that. He’s a strong boy, that will add physicality to our squad & he impressed me when we played Hampton. Glen Little knows him from Wrexham, and spoke very highly of his professionalism & desire to do well.
“I’m pleased to get him on board, it’s a specific area we needed to strengthen and almost completes the squad.”
Brown also hinted at further changes to the squad, saying: “Expect another one or two in, but probably another couple out as I look to get the correct balance. However, the core remains the same!”