A new Samba beat at Broadhall Way
STEVENAGE Boro has entered the World Cup theme by signing a Brazilian this week. Central defender Santos Gaia has spent the last four seasons playing for Conference rivals Exeter City. The left-footed 27-year-old was previously at Brazilian outfit Corinth
STEVENAGE Boro has entered the World Cup theme by signing a Brazilian this week.
Central defender Santos Gaia has spent the last four seasons playing for Conference rivals Exeter City.
The left-footed 27-year-old was previously at Brazilian outfit Corinthians.
Gaia is one of two new boys with 21-year-old Barry Fuller also joining from Premiership Charlton Athletic.
Fuller, who spent six seasons at The Valley, is a tenacious right-back who can play in the centre of midfield as well.
He played 15 games on loan at League Two Barnet last season and the Bees were known to be keen to land him in a permanent deal.
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Boro boss Mark Stimson said: "Santos is a big, strong player and will add a good balance to the three right-footed central defenders already here.
"You need the four centre-halves with suspensions and injuries.
"Barry is another good strong player with the potential to play at a higher level.
"There were a couple of League sides and half a dozen Conference clubs chasing him."
Stimson added: "The two signings this week mean things are taking shape.
"I see two or three more possibly coming in. We still need a right-sided player and another centre forward.
"The defence is done now with John Nutter as the left-back."
Gaia and Fuller were joining other new boys Nutter, Danny Potter and Dale Binns at the first pre-season training session today (Thursday).
Boro now has 14 contracted senior players along with three contracted trainee professionals.
Stimson continued: "I enjoy all the training ground stuff and that's what myself and Scott (Barrett) thrive on.
"The ball will be used from day one and gone are the days when you ask players to slog their guts out. The players have been doing their own fitness programmes anyway."
Triallists are being invited along to training from tomorrow with Stimson hoping to unearth a few hidden gems.
The likes of Freddy Eastwood, Mitchell Cole and Stuart Thurgood were all triallists at Stimson's previous club Grays before making their name at the Essex side.
* Both North London rivals Spurs and Arsenal could be coming to Broadhall Way in pre-season.
Martin Jol is definitely bringing his Spurs side to Boro on Tuesday, July 25.
But the fixture against Arsenal - planned for Saturday, August 5 - is still to be confirmed.
Manager Mark Stimson said: "We've got a good selection of friendlies. There are some tough ones at home and some away against teams from a lower standard."
The complete list of pre-season friendlies is:
Tuesday, July 11: CRYSTAL PALACE (home, 7.45pm ko)
Saturday, July 15: LUTON TOWN (home, 3pm ko)
Tuesday, July 18: Thurrock (away, 7.45pm ko) - Boro XI
Wednesday, July 19: QPR (home, 7.45pm ko)
Saturday, July 22: Boreham Wood (away, 3pm ko)
Tuesday, July 25: SPURS (home, 8pm ko)
Wednesday, July 26: Cheshunt (away, 7.45pm ko) - Boro XI
Saturday, July 29: Farnborough (away, 1pm ko)
Tuesday, August 1: Bedford Town (away, 7.45pm ko)
Wednesday, August 2: Hitchin Town (away, 7.45pm ko) - Boro XI
Saturday, August 5: ARSENAL (home, 3pm ko)