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Brian Caffarey - 5th May 2008

I spoke to Colin Lippiatt earlier this (Tuesday) afternoon to ask him about the background to today?s announcement of the signing of Manny Williams, a 26 year-old striker who scored 30 goals for Maidenhead United last season.

Colin confirmed that Manny?s former Yeading team mates, Marvin Morgan and Bradley Quamina, had played an important part in bringing Manny to Kingfield. ?I?ve known Manny for a few years and both Marvin and Bradley gave us the ?thumbs up? and were quite instrumental in getting Manny to sign for the Club. There was a lot of competition for his signature. He had better offers from two BSP clubs and three in the Conference South but Manny wanted to go full-time and was persuaded to sign for Woking in preference to the two other BSP outfits. It?s always a gamble when you sign someone ? you never can be sure that they will step up to the plate ? but Manny has got an excellent goalscoring record. He?s very quick and skilful. He will be able to play off the shoulder of defenders and to stretch defences. He had a trial at Yeovil but wasn?t able to complete it because of his Maidenhead commitments. I spoke to Steve Thompson, who spoke highly of him, saying that he didn?t look out of place during his time down there.?

Colin explained that Manny was being pressed for a decision on his future by other clubs, so it was necessary for the Cards to move swiftly, ahead of the appointment of a new manager. ?I know that there have been some comments from some people about the number of players signed up?, said Colin. ?But people need to bear in mind that deals were already in place, in effect, for 15 players before Frank Gray left. It was always the case that we planned to keep the great majority of the squad for the new season, believing ? correctly, I think ? that most of them would benefit from a year?s experience at this level and would be stronger in their second year here. So, the only player who?s been added, in practice, is Manny Williams. Whether the new manager adds two, three or four more players, I firmly believe that we will have a stronger squad than we had last season because of the experience gained.? Colin said that he didn?t envisage signing any more players before a new manager was appointed but added that, in his capacity as caretaker manager, he wouldn?t hesitate to do so if he thought there was a strong case and that it was the right thing to do for the Club.

Colin confirmed that the contracts of Adam Green, Damian Batt and Jason Norville had now expired. All three had been told by Colin that he did not intend to offer them contracts and that it was therefore in their own interests to look for another club. This did not, of course, preclude a new manager from considering them if they had not signed for another club by then.

On the search for a new manager, Colin said that he and David Taylor expected to complete the first round of interviews in roughly seven to ten days but he could not give a firm date when a new manager would be in place. He reiterated that, while Justin Edinburgh had done very well during his spell as assistant manager, this did not necessarily make him favourite for the job. The players return for training on 7 July.

Brian Caffarey
6 May 2008
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