New Oakham boss Brownhill seeks to strengthen after post becomes permanent

Addie Staffieri is a transfer target for Oakham United.
Addie Staffieri is a transfer target for Oakham United.

Newly-appointed Oakham United boss Kai Brownhill is embarking on a recruitment drive after being handed the reins permanently at Lonsdale Meadow.

Brownhill is looking to boost his squad to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle after facing a host of top sides in recent weeks in Division One of the United Counties League.

Uppingham Town duo Martin Bennett and Danny Dumford both made their Oakham bows in Wednesday night’s 3-0 home defeat to high-flying Lutterworth Town.

And the club have submitted seven-day notices of approach for Sawtry striker Nathan Smith and Netherton’s Giuliano Staffieri as well as hoping Addie Staffieri will join his brother in the Oakham ranks.

Brownhill commented: “All of the sides in the bottom six of the division are at risk of either being moved or demoted and at the moment we’re involved in that relegation battle.

“We are trying to bring players in to keep us out of that bottom six, but we have played a lot of the top sides recently.

“We are trying to move forward. It’s not been as quick as I’d like, but getting experienced players will help us because we have to get there.

“We are still building, but it’s an unforgiving league and you don’t get extra points just for trying hard.

“We can only say we’re growing for so long because we’re not pulling up any roses at the moment, but we will have a better idea of where we are when we start playing the teams around us.”

Oakham kept third-placed Lutterworth at bay for the opening period on Wednesday night before three goals after the break sealed their fate.

It had been a similar story on Saturday when three second half goals secured victory for visiting Rushden & Higham who had taken the lead right on the stroke of half-time.

Brownhill commented: “We did really well to contain Lutterworth in the first half. They were getting frustrated, but we’ve been done by three setpieces.

“We struggled to deal with setpieces all night. It was the right result though. They deserved the win because they were the better side.

“We have played some well-established sides with good, strong squads recently. Rushden & Higham signed four players from the Rushden & Diamonds Academy before Saturday’s game and all of a sudden that makes them a top six side.”

Oakham are in derby action on Saturday when they face a tough trip to local rivals Blackstones.