CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Collier reveals last-gasp Smith snub

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Cirencester Town striker Lee Smith had agreed to join the Bluebirds before signing for Hungerford Cirencester Town striker Lee Smith had agreed to join the Bluebirds before signing for Hungerford

CHIPPENHAM Town manager Mark Collier was disappointed to see hotshot Lee Smith renege on his agreement to join the Bluebirds and sign for Hungerford Town.

Collier revealed that the striker, who netted 38 goals to fire Cirencester Town to the Southern League Division One South & West title last season, was set to return to Hardenhuish Park before instead opting to sign for Chippenham’s Premier Division rivals Hungerford last weekend.

The Bluebirds boss has turned his attentions away from Smith, who had a brief spell on loan with the Bluebirds from Forest Green Rovers in 2011, and is hopeful of sealing a clutch of new signings later this week.

“Lee Smith had met myself and Tom (Jones) and agreed to come and sign for us. He was happy with the offer we’d made him and was all happy for it to be announced but then eight hours later, I found out that he’d signed for Hungerford,” said Collier.

“It’s disappointing because he showed a desire to come here but we only want players that want to play for the club. We’re a big non-league club and like I’ve said before, we’re interested in quality, not quantity.

“I’m talking to three or four players at the moment, who play in different positions, and I’d like to think that we'll get them on board before the weekend.

“If I can add them to the three we’ve already signed (Matt Coupe, Toby Osman and Jordan Roberts), then we should have a full squad.

"That’s barring anyone else that becomes available because I know through my experience that there can be a knock-on effect with players from other clubs once pre-season starts.”

Meanwhile, Chippenham could be set to welcome Hereford United to Hardenhuish Park next season after the non-league giants were expelled from the Conference Premier for failing to pay their debts.

Hayes & Yeading United, who had been relegated into the Bluebirds’ division from the Conference South, have been handed a reprieve after Hereford’s expulsion and the Bulls, who famously knocked Newcastle United out of the FA Cup in 1972, are expected to join the Southern League Premier Division.

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