38 year-old striker Jefferson Louis (pictured above) has agreed to sign for the Puritans. He is a former Football League player with Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Mansfield Town. He also has extensive experience of playing in the top-level of non-league football with Woking, Forest Green Rovers, Wrexham, Crawley Town, Stevenage Borough and Rushden & Diamonds. More recently he played for Wealdstone and Staines Town before joining National League South side Oxford City in October 2016, making 31 appearances for City through to the end of last season, scoring eight goals.
Manager Mike Ford commented “It was evident that one of our failings last season was our lack of goals. I watched Jefferson a number of times last season and as well as getting us goals his experience and know-how will be of great help to our younger players and I am delighted he has agreed to join us and am looking forward to working with him.”
Jefferson Louis on joining the club said “I am delighted to have been able to come to an agreement to join Banbury United. They are clearly a very well run club on the up and have conducted themselves very professionally. I am already looking forward to next season and as well as scoring goals for the Puritans I am sure I can pass on my knowledge to help the younger members of the team.”
Also agreeing to sign for the Puritans for the coming season is winger Tom Winters (pictured below). The 31 year-old joined the club on loan from National League South side Oxford City in February 2017, making 11 appearances for the club through to the end of the season. Tom came through the Oxford United youth system and progressed to make a handful of Football League appearances for them before spending eight seasons with Brackley Town. During that spell he was a key member of the side that earned two promotions going from Division One level of the Southern League, up to the Premier Division and then into Conference North, making over 300 appearances and scoring over 100 goals for the Saints. He left Brackley in the summer of 2013 to join Oxford City and spent two seasons with them before moving back in the summer of 2015 to St James Park. He returned to Oxford City last summer.
Manager Mike Ford commented “Tom joined us on loan towards the end of last season and it was clear from his body language and performances that he enjoyed his time with us and I am very pleased that he has decided to make the move to us on a permanent basis.”
The club can also confirm that both midfielder George Nash and striker/central defender Ricky Johnson have now signed contracts to the end of next season. These two thus join Jack Harding as contracted to the end of next season.
Manager Mike Ford has confirmed that Mark Bell and Eddie Odhiambo have been released and that it is highly unlikely that Callum White will be with the club next season.
Mark was a key part of the club’s Southern League South & West Division promotion winning side in season 2015/16 and though not starting on a regular basis last season made 75 appearances for the club in his two years at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.
Eddie joined the club in October 2016, making 34 appearances through to the end of last season.
Callum has had three seasons with the club whilst at Birmingham University, making a total of 107 appearances. However, with his studies now finished Mike Ford has confirmed that it is highly unlikely that he will be with Banbury next season.
Mike commented “Whilst I have been unable to offer Mark or Eddie a place in the squad next season, they have conducted themselves very well in their time at the club and have been a pleasure to work with. I wish them both the best for the future. Callum has been excellent for us in the two years that I have been at the club and again has been a pleasure to work with. Whilst it is a shame we are unlikely to see him in a Puritans shirt next season, it is for understandable reasons and I wish him all the best.”
Everyone at Banbury United would like to thank Mark, Eddie and Callum for their efforts and commitment whilst at the club and wish them all the best in the future.
Updated 16:33 - 2 Jun 2017 by David Shadbolt