JOINT-BOSS Andy Darnton believes new-look Bashley will be no pushovers in Southern South & West after combining two familiar faces in the heart of defence.

Former Cherries youngster Matt Oldring and fellow centre-half Jamie Thoroughgood have been snapped up from Guildford City having been originally fused together at Darnton's former club Verwood Town.

Thoroughgood was just short of 200 games for City at the end of last season and scooped two player-of-the-year awards, while Oldring was considered Verwood's linchpin before his switch to Surrey in March.

They are tasked with providing the know-how in Bashley's fledgling squad as summer appointments Darnton and Graham Speechley-Price look to assemble a competitive unit from scratch on the back of last season's struggles on and off the pitch.

Darnton told the Daily Echo: “Jamie comes with the wealth of experience we need and at 22 is still young enough to develop. We know all about Matt's qualities and they know each other's game well so that gives us a good base to build from in the first few weeks.

“We will have a very young team and if we can blend in some more experience as we go along then the initial signs bode well.

“It will be tough because we're building a completely new side but the club will provide the platform for younger players to get their opportunity at this level. Some will shape up and some will not, that's inevitable.

“The club needs stability and we're relishing the challenge of getting together a competitive side while blooding the youngsters. We want to stay in the Southern League and while I am ambitious and out to win every game we will take things a step at a time.”

Others hoping to make an impact include goalkeeper Ben Field and utility man Matt Head from Christchurch, striker Leighton Speechley-Price, ex-New Milton player Ashley Booker and centre-half Greg King, formerly with Bash reserves.

Frontrunner Josh Bertie impressed with a goal in Friday's 2-1 pre-season win over Christchurch, while Bash hope to bring back two defenders from last season - Brad Strickland and Brad Morris.