After Maxwell's return, the signings begin

By Ian Townsend

Ryan Maxwell quickly rescinded his departure, and Sittingbourne have since added Elliott Romain, Harley Earle, Henry Lukombo, Alkeo Bani and Liam Smith

On May 5th Sittingbourne announced the reluctant departure of their boss Ryan Maxwell, and it was so reluctant that within a week he was back again, announcing on social media:

'I’ve decided to stay at Sittingbourne. The club went above an beyond for me to be able to manage the travelling so I’m happy to stay. Great club, chairman, and the fans are absolutely fantastic. The journey continues!'

Quickly after the managers confirmation, existing players were announced as staying, and new players as arriving. The arrivals so far are as follows:

Forward Elliott Romain spent time at Dulwich Hamlet and Horsham last season, playing seven times for the former and fifteen times for the latter, his last Horsham appearance coming in the Play Off Semi-Final defeat to Chatham Town.

After being a Millwall youth he spent time at Three Bridges and Lewes before becoming a big hit in National League South with Eastbourne Borough, showing form which got his snapped up by Dagenham and Redbridge. After time with the Daggers- including loans at Torquay United and Welling United- came to an end, Maidstone United were his next port of call- and he has also had two more spells in Eastbourne, and has played for Dartford, Ebbsfleet United and Hemel Hempstead Town.

Goalkeeper Harley Earle spent time with the Brickies during 2022-23, playing fifteen times before suffering an injury. That spell was on loan from Maidstone United, and he has played for the Stones at first team and youth level. Prior to his time in Kent he was a youth player with Fulham.

Centre back Henry Lukombo was next in. Henry is perhaps best known to Isthmian audiences for his time with Billericay Town, where he made twelve appearances during the 22-23 season and followed that with a spell at Pitching In Southern League side Harrow Borough last season. He came through the youth ranks at New Lodge.

Defender Liam Smith makes the move from Hythe Town. Liam made forty five appearances for the Cannons last season, and he's been similarly consistent of years, playing forty six times as they reached the Play Off Final at the end of 22-23, forty eight during 21-22, and ten- which was still every match- in the finished almost before it started 20-21 campaign. Liam was previously at Tonbridge Angels, and spent time on loan at Merstham at the start of the 2019-20 campaign. He came through the youth system at Longmead.

Finally, midfielder Alkeo Bani moves to the Brickies after a fine season at Pitching In Isthmian Premier Play Off Semi-Finalists Wingate and Finchley. He made thirty five appearances for the Summers Lane side last season, thirty one during 22-23 and thirteen during 21-22. He has also played for St Albans City, Basildon United and Bowers and Pitsea, after first playing youth football at Watford and Fleetwood Town.

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