Keehan looks to sign two more ex-Football League pros

KEVIN Keehan is hopeful of adding another two ex-Football League names to his Lewes squad following the aquisition this week of Anthony Barness and Scott Taylor.

Former Millwall, Bolton, Tranmere, Blackpool, Plymouth and MK Dons striker Taylor and ex-Bolton and Chelsea defender Barness '“ the one remaining member of the Rooks' championship-winning team of last season '“ put pen to paper this week to bring much-needed experience to boss Keehan's young squad.

And the Lewes manager this week told Sport Express he was confident of landing two more big names in time for the Rooks' friendly with Brighton & Hove Albion next Saturday (July 19).

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He said, "I'm talking to a couple of players as we speak. They are names that people will want to hear and are names that people will think will be and asset. Rather than youngsters they will be experienced players. I'm hoping to have them signed before the Albion game next Saturday."

Keehan hailed the footballing knowledge of his two new signings and said their combined pedigree would aid his Lewes team's passing game in the Blue Square Premier next season.

He said of Taylor, "He's got the quality and intelligence to not only score goals but bring other people into play. He's got a good footballing brain and he keeps himself fit.

"He's been very impressive in training and we were also very impressed with what we have seen of him in the past."

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The experienced frontman, 32, made almost 400 League appearances in his Football League career before joining Grays Athletic last season.

Keehan said, "His experience will help the younger players."

And of Barness, who, despite being a free agent at the end of last season, decided to rejoin the Rooks on a one-year contract, he said, "What I like about Anthony is he's an intelligent footballer.

He's got two good feet and he keeps the ball '“ as does Scott. With the kind of football we'll be playing next season it's imperitive that we have players who are able to do that."

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Lewes have secured a new main shirt sponsor for the upcoming season. Magic Man, a Sussex-based repair and resurfacing company, have agreed to sponsor the Rooks for the 2008/09 season. The company signed a five-figure shirt deal for one year with the club. Sport Express believes the deal to be worth somewhere in the region of 40,000 to 50,000 to the club.

Lewes FC commercial director Steve White said, "We are delighted to welcome Magic Man as our new shirt sponsor and we are sure they will enjoy the increased profile they will receive being associated with one of the top non league sides in the country."

Managing Director of Magic Man, Mark Henderson, added, "We are pleased to be the shirt sponsors of Lewes FC, and wish them well for the coming season."

A new back of shirt sponsor has also been announced. Last year's short sponsors Bradley Property Management will move to the back of the Rooks' shirt for this season.

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Meanwhile, the club this week revealed what this seasonsnew home and away kit will look like. This season kit supplier will be Errea.

Lewes FC fans will get a behind the scenes look at the Rooks' first season in the non-league top-flight when a film crew records a fly-on-the-wall-style documentary of the upcoming season.

A Lewes-based film company will be allowed full access to behind the scenes action, including Keehan's dressing room team talks before games. The documentary could then potentially find its way onto network television.

A Lewes statement read, "This season a film company will follow the team for the course of the season filming a documentary about the club. The date for its showing is to be announced later in the season."

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Mr White blamed "unsavoury" characters for breaking into the ground and leaving an unpleasant mess in the toilets.

The club was this week accused of failing to clean the toilets since the last game of last season. But Mr White said, "They have been cleaned many times since the last game of the season. Unfortunately some individuals have been getting into the ground and using those toilets and leaving a mess.

"There are various parts of the ground where they can get in. Basically they jump over the fence. We have had to call the police on a daily basis. Only yesterday the police came down and escorted them out of the ground. It's pretty unsavoury and it's a battle to keep the toilets clean but rest assured they will be cleaned before the first home game."

Volunteers are wanted to help out at the ground to do various work, such as painting surfaces. So far the club has only three volunteers helping out. If you would like to help call the club office on 407975.