Bush makes his Rovers return

Shane Bush is back with Kempston
Shane Bush is back with Kempston

Kempston Rovers got back into pre-season training this week as their squad begins to take shape for the season ahead.

Joint managers Jimmy Stoyles and Gary Flinn have so far secured the services of 10 of last season’s squad.

Keepers Martin Conway and Carl Knox have committed to the club for the season, as has player of the year Robbie Goodman.

Ben Shepherd, Seb Simpson, Alex Collard, Josh Crawley, Ash Fuller and Sam Macrae have also put pen to paper for the upcoming campaign.

Joining the retained players is new signing Shane Bush.

Bush, a familiar name to Rovers fans having played a central role in the side that won promotion from the United Counties League in 2016, is now back with the Walnut Boys for his third spell.

Last season Bush played at Chesham United in the Southern League Premier and scored regularly as they won the Berks & Bucks County Cup over MK Dons at Stadium MK.

In his first two spells at Rovers, Bush scored 42 goals in 97 appearances, finishing as the club’s top scorer on two occasions.

Stoyles was delighted to bring in such a popular new addition, saying: “Shane is a player we know well, who has quality, character and desire to drive our squad on.

“There will be other players coming in, we’ve identified the areas from last season that we want to improve on.

“We’re going for quality rather than quantity in our squad this season.”

Kempston are also thrilled to be continuing their partnership with estate agents Taylor Brightwell, who will continue to sponsor the first-team shirts.

Meanwhile, the early rounds of The FA’s cup competitions were made at Wembley last week and see Rovers facing some familiar faces in each contest.

The FA Cup sees the Walnut Boys waiting to travel to the winners of Arlesey Town and Desborough Town in the qualifiying rounds.

The FA Trophy has thrown up a derby with Kempston travelling the short distance to Barton Rovers in late September, while the U18s host Corby Town in the FA Youth Cup.

Rovers will learn their Southern League fixtures later this month.

The first chance to see the new-look Rovers is against St Ives Town at Hillgrounds next Tuesday, July 17, with reduced admission prices.