Stevenage boss Dino Maamria snaps up two exciting arrivals

PUBLISHED: 16:22 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 21 May 2018

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria at Stevenage FC Training Ground. Picture: BEN BEALE

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria at Stevenage FC Training Ground. Picture: BEN BEALE

©2018 Ben Beale MoD Crown - all rights reserved

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria is working hard to mould his squad for next season after recruiting his first two players as manager of the Lamex outfit.

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria is working hard to mould his squad for next season after recruiting his first two players as manager of the Lamex outfit.

All action James Ball, 22, has been Maamria’s first summer signing after arriving from Stockport.

The attacking midfielder joined County in September 2016 after a brief spell with Stalybridge Celtic. He had previously played under manager Jim Gannon at Northwich Victoria, helping them to reach the second round of the FA Cup and a promotion play-off final.

James – or Jimmy as he was known as Edgeley Park – scored on his debut for County at Darlington 1883 and was second top scorer last term with eight goals. He had a year remaining on his contract before he was snapped up by Boro for an undisclosed fee.

Maamria said: “I have been tracking him for a while. I had a phone call from the chairman around December-time, asking who the best non-league players are at the time and I put James’ name forward straight away.

“Then the first opportunity I had, I wanted to make sure I brought James in so we got the ball rolling right away.

“He is a proper Stevenage player. Big, strong, box-to-box, can cover a lot of ground and can score goals from midfield.”

Maamria then used his forensic knowledge of non-league football to return to former club Nuneaton Town, swooping for highly-rated right-back Luther Wildin.

The rebuilding process under Maamria is now well underway after seven players left the club with arrivals and departures expected over the coming months.

However, with last season‘s right-back Joe Martin seemingly not in the Tunisian’s plans after being put up for a free transfer, the decisions means 20-year-old Wildin could seal a possible first team berth from August.

Wildin was picked up after an impressive spell under Maamria at Liberty Way, leaving a delighted Maamria to say: “I am delighted to secure his services first and foremost.

“He was a bright-spot as soon as I got to Nuneaton and I was thinking, ‘What is this player doing at this level?’.

“He is athletic, he can run all day, defensively he is very good one-on-one and he gives us options moving forward as well.

“He is a very good ball carrier and that is the type of full-back I am looking for, so he ticks a lot of boxes. He is a hungry boy, he wants to do well, he is very ambitions and all those things are in-line with what we stand for as a football club.

“He is willing to learn and improve all the time. He is a good age for us, he has a lot to learn but he will be a starter if he is fit and everything else. He will be brilliant for us.”

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