LEADING marksman Mark Gamble has revealed one look at Wimborne Town's retained list convinced him to commit to a new one-year contract at Cuthbury.
The former Northern Ireland non-league international, who bagged 30 Southern South & West goals last season, has joined former Bashley team-mates James Stokoe and Ian Oliver in putting pen to paper.
Having targeted a play-off place 12 months ago, Magpies largely flattered to deceive and finished a disappointing 13th last season, despite the prolific exploits of their Ballymena-born frontman.
But while the club recently announced “significant” reductions to their playing budget for the forthcoming campaign, 27-year-old Gamble had no hesitation in staying put after Wimborne managed to hold onto their big hitters.
“Both Oli and Stokes are quality players and we are good mates of mine off the pitch. If they had left I would have struggled with my decision,” he said.
“I had offers from clubs at higher levels but I was always adamant that if we kept our nucleus of players that I would stay at Wimborne.
“At this stage of my career it is more important for me to be somewhere I enjoy playing. I know I can play at the level above or possibly the Conference South but I'm really enjoying it here, especially with how the manager (Steve Cuss) likes to play.
“I think we probably underestimated the quality of the better teams in this league last season and we didn't do as well as we wanted to. It was no secret that we conceded far too many goals and that needed to be looked at.
“We didn't strengthen as much as we could have done and the players we had were given plenty of time to prove they were good enough. But, now our better players are staying, if we can add a couple more then I think anything is possible.”
Goalkeeper Jason Harvell and winger Jamie Davidson are also contracted for next season, while the club have announced that Billy Maybury, George Webb and Adam Costello are committed to signing.
- MIDFIELDER Steve Devlin celebrated signing a new one-year contract with a hat-trick of awards at Poole Town's presentation dinner on Friday.
The former Dorchester Town man scooped the Supporters' Club and supporters' gongs and took the top scorers' trophy for his 19 goals in all competitions.
Ex-Cherries youngster Jamie Whisken won the players' vote, while Marvin Brooks was handed the manager's prize by boss Tom Killick.
Young player of the year was won by hot prospect Billy Lowes and Supporters' Club stalwart Pippa Daniels was awarded Clubman of the Year.
There was also a special presentation made to long-standing supporter Martin Cooper.