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Heacham swoop for seven new faces ahead of new Thurlow Nunn Premier Division season

Heacham have announced seven summer signings as new manager Paul Hunt continues to put together his playing squad for the new season.

The Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Magpies have brought in Matty Franks, Matty Prudence, George Hutton, Jack Prentice, Tommy Hunt, Callum Robinson and Andy Willmott.

Franks, Prudence and Hutton arrive from Norfolk Senior Cup winners Downham Town while both Robinson and Hunt were with Parson Drove last season.

Midfielder Matty Franks on the ball for Downham Town. Picture: Ian Burt
Midfielder Matty Franks on the ball for Downham Town. Picture: Ian Burt

Defender Nathan Daws and striker Josh Williams are also training with the squad.

Speaking about the club's new arrivals, Hunt said: "Matty (Franks) is a superb footballer, but he's also a leader and a good guy so I'm delighted to get him on board.

"I had a conversation with Mattie and he was interested. He was looking for a new challenge and it's a big signing for the club.

"Matty would be a linchpin of any midfield and I've got a lot of quality in that midfield.

“He's not only a leader but he also has a calming influence and sometimes that's hard to find, to be good at what you do, and be calm with your teammates."

"It feels like I've known George since he was five. He was excited about coming in.

"He's a superb fullback who can also play centre-half and as a holding midfielder. George is tough and competitive, good in the air and has quality on the ball."

"I'm so lucky because I've known a lot of these players for us for such a long time we've sort of come together in good times and we've always parted in a good way so that when something else comes up, there's always the possibility that they might want to get involved again.

"Matty Prudence is one of those. He is an outstanding midfielder who can play up front. He scores goals, he's got an engine on him and he's very intense in his football.

"When I had him at Swaffham we had some very big games and people like him would just go to war for you."

Hunt added: "I've known Jack many years as he went to school and my son and they all came through together.

"He played for me over at Swaffham and I think he was the second top goalscorer in the league.

"I sort of converted him from a centre-half who scored a lot of goals to a centre-forward.

"He always scores goals. He's a big lad, so he's great when you are attacking, but he's also great for defending our box.

"He's tireless as well and is always on the move. He's got a good football brain and is just a pleasure to manage."

"Tommy is someone who should be playing at this level. He played for Parson Drove last season and enjoyed his time there but he is looking to push on again.

"There's a lot of the lads over here who he gets on well with but he's got a real engine, is a good footballer, but he is someone who is going to work hard for you for 90 minutes up and down the pitch.

"He can play in several positions so we've got a lot of flexibility in where they can play.

"Callum is a centre-half who was with me over at Swaffham. He then came over with me to Wisbech St Mary and was with Parson Drove last season.

"He lost a bit of football because of the job he took and it was almost a whole year where he couldn't play on a Saturday.

"It's hard to get straight back into again when you haven't played regularly but he's come in pre-season and he is sharp.

"He's got a winning mentality and is a great lad to have around the dressing room as well.

"Andy is quick and robust. He was already at Wisbech St Mary when I went there

"He's quick, strong and competitive. He can play fullback, wide or in any of the midfield positions and he's got a lot to offer."

The Heacham boss is delighted with the mix that he currently has at his disposal.

"You look at the players who have come in and added to what the club already had, we've got the under-18s as well and some of those players are not a million miles away," said Hunt.

"We've got the Reserves too which are key in the middle of that because some of those under-18s will be playing on a Saturday and developing then in development. Players can also get fit in the Reserves if they need to.

"We're all singing from the same hymn sheet. Mark (McDonnell), Matt (Pooley) and myself are all talking in the same way about how we see it all working and that fits together well."

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