Lewes have beaten off a number of other clubs to complete the signing of centre back Gary Elphick.
The 28-year-old has penned a contract with the Rooks to become the club’s fourth new signing of the summer. Elphick is the son of Gary Elphick senior, who is a former Lewes player, manager, coach and a life member.
Gary junior began his career with Brighton, making a couple of first team appearances as a teenager and has also played for St Albans, Havant and Waterlooville, Eastbourne Borough, Eastleigh and Tonbridge Angels, where he was last season.
Manager Garry Wilson said: “It is a fantastic signing, one of the biggest signings for Lewes in a while. We are delighted. For me, he is a true pro. Gary is one of the strongest characters I have had in the dressing room and he will bring a lot of values to the club. He will be a big fans’ favourite because of his whole-hearted approach. He scores goals as well and that is something we are looking for more from out defenders. We were lucky to get him. Other clubs were interested in him and Gary is coming into his prime as a centre-half at the age of 28. Hopefully he will be at Lewes for a long time.”
Danny Bloor added: “Gary will bring us so much. He is a leader and is the right character for us. He could have had his choice of clubs but Gary wanted to play for Lewes. His dad has strong connections with the club and Gary (junior) felt Lewes was the right club for him. When we met to sign him, his attitude was so refreshing. He has old fashioned values which we like.”
Elphick himself echoed the words from Garry and Danny “I can’t wait for the start of the season. It really feels like the start of something big here and I’m delighted I’m able to be a part of it. I’ve had a lot of calls from a lot of managers over the summer but I’m a local lad and having worked with Garry before in the end it was an easy decision.” When asked about his Dad’s time at the club he admitted that “My Dad’s as excited as I am! I talk with him all the time and when he knew I might be signing for Lewes he couldn’t speak highly enough about the club and how much he enjoyed his time at the Dripping Pan.”
The club are also happy to announce that Ryan Gayler has joined the Lewes coaching staff.
Gayler moves to the Rooks from Burgess Hill where he was first team coach and under-21s manager. He was well respected at Leylands Park for his work in helping bring young players through.
Lewes boss Garry Wilson said: “Steve Eke has stepped back from first team duties, although he will continue to work with the academy, and Ross Standen who was with us at the end of last season has decided not to continue. It left us with a gap in the coaching team and Ryan fitted the bill perfectly.”