Drury rebuilding his Daniels for life in the Premier division

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It’s now all but official. Stamford AFC will play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League next season.

The club confirmed on Friday they had been contacted by the FA to tell them they were being given a relegation reprieve. All that’s left is the constitution of the league be officially formalised at the league’s AGM on June 18.

Even before the stunning announcement last week manager Graham Drury had committed himself to the club and has been busy looking to strengthen his side to be more competitive next season after finishing fourth from bottom last time out.

In the last couple of weeks Drury has swooped to sign three new players. Drury has strengthened the defence with several new signings.

The Daniels have signed former Brentford fullback Tommy Cooney and Lincoln United right back Jordan Lemon.

Spalding United defensive midfielder Sam Murphy, who can also play at centre-half, has also joined the club.

Cooney is a well travelled player with plenty of experience in a wide range of positions, comfortable playing across the back line and in midfield. His favoured position is left back, from where he can get forward to unleash his powerful shot. After starting out with Athlone Town and Longford in Ireland, he trialled with Celtic and was scouted by Manchester City.

The defender then joined the Brentford academy and featured for Scarborough Athletic and then Boston United.

Only an ankle injury has held him back from progressing further in his football career.

Lemon had a tremendous season last year with Lincoln United, and was recognised by the league for his impressive showings by being named in the Evo-Stik First Division South team of the year for 2015-16. He too will add plenty of energy and quality to the Stamford flanks - not to mention speed, adding to the likes of Ollie Luto, who has already committed himself to the club and Lee Beeson.

Lemon has had three stints coaching football in the USA and will balance his football with studying for a degree in sports coaching and primary education at Liverpool University from September.

Going in the other direction is Scottish winger Chris Hamilton who has joined the Tulips as a player coach.

Hamilton made 10 appearances for the Daniels last season after becoming one of Drury’s first signings at the club, joining in December.

The Daniels have already announced their pre-season fixtures and manager Drury is looking to put his players to the test against some quality opposition.

They will kick-off proceedings with Grimsby Town at home on July 13, 7pm kick off in the Lincs Cup.

Next up is a home game against a Northampton Town XI on July 20th, 7.30pm.

On July 23 Stamford will entertain Kings Lynn, who were moved to the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League last season, at 3pm.