Hams plays down Stags chances

Hams plays down Stags chances

Red hot: Walton Casuals Andre Scarlett has realistic expectations at Waterside Drive

Big lad: Stags defender Adriano Moraes

Staying put: Stags striker Gabriel Odunaike

First published in Non League

Walton Casuals boss Mark Hams confirmed five new signings this week but is determined to keep a lid on expectations, writes Stuart Amos.

Experienced Walton & Hersham old boys Andre Scarlett and Adriano Moraes top the list of new faces, with former Crawley Down Gatwick Luke Badiali, 21, 19-year-old right back Tyler Myers and 21-year-old midfielder Joshua Cover also signing on the dotted line.

The Stags finished ninth in Ryman Division One South last term, breaking a host of club records along the way.

But ex-Kingstonian assistant Hams reckons that and a significantly strengthened squad will count for nothing this time around.

“I know the new players could easily decide to go elsewhere before the season starts. There are still four and half weeks to go and I could lose them all,” he said.

“I could make myself look stupid and claim we are going to finish in the play offs, but that is not realistic.

“However, good we were we still finished ninth last year, which is nowhere.”

Scarlett, 34, was one of the Swans’ leading lights last term in a campaign that saw them narrowly avoid relegation and Hams reckoned his and Moraes’ experience will prove invaluable.

“Andre is ambitious, but has been realistic in terms of money to come here, because we are not the biggest club in the world,” he added.

“We’ve got a lot of young players so we need his experience. Adriano is a big, strong and physical defender, which we have been lacking.”

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