Exmouth Town boss adds real quality to squad as pre-season gets underway.

PUBLISHED: 13:34 02 July 2013 | UPDATED: 13:34 02 July 2013

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Richard Pears’, South West Peninsula East Division Champions are now preparing for their top flight campaign, writes Mark Briggs.

The Town boss has been busy recruiting and has secured the services of former Plymouth Argyle and Gillingham player Mark Saunders as his player-assistant. Saunders managed Tiverton Town in the Southern League last season.

Pears has also signed Kevin Hill who has vast experience in the game as he played for Torquay United for 11 seasons. The 37-year-old midfielder has been appointed as a player/coach.

In addition to the management recruitment Pears has secured the re-signing of Carl Rickard who missed much of last season on overseas duties.

Pears says of the three new men: “Mark (Saunders) is one of those ‘been there and done it and got the T-shirt’ type of players. His presence is exactly the sort of on-pitch leadership I felt we needed now that we have stepped up a level. Kevin (Hill) has seen it all and he will give us real class on the pitch and quality on the training ground. Karl being back readily available is a massive boost. Any side is improved with his presence and he will be a big player for Town this coming season.”

Pears is still hopeful of persuading a proven striker to ply his trade with the Southern Road club next season.

He explained saying: “I am very hopefully we might be able to persuade Jamie Mudge to play for us. He’s a good friend of mine and is certainly the calibre of player I’d love the Town faithful to see in the club colours. If we could get his signature that would be another huge statement of intent. I am quite clear about this. We are not going up to the Premier Division for a jolly. We are going up to compete with the best teams and challenge for the honours. That’s going to mean lots of hard work and commitment from the squad, but they saw last year what you can get out of a season if you are prepared to put the work in.”

Town’s players report back tomorrow (Friday) when they will be out through their paces on Exmouth beach.

Pear says: “It needs to be tough to start with so we can gauge just what sort of levels of fitness we already have in the squad.”

The pre-season matches begin with a Friday, July 12 meeting with Toolstation League, Premier Division outfit Willand Rovers.

Town’s pre-season training begins tomorrow (Friday) with a session on the beach.

Pears says:: “It needs to be tough to start with so we can gauge just what sort of levels of fitness we already have in the squad.”

The pre-season matches begin with a Friday, July 12 meeting with Toolstation League, Premier Division outfit Willand Rovers.

Their Premier Division season begins with an away trip to Tavistock on Saturday August 10.

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