Concord Rangers duo James White and Sam Collins agree to stay at club

Sam Collins - staying at the club

Sam Collins - staying at the club

First published in Sport by

DANNY Cowley says James White and Sam Collins are “irreplaceable” after they committed their futures to Concord Rangers.

White and Collins excelled in the Beachboys maiden season in the Conference South and the Essex Senior Cup and both have now put pen to paper for the 2014/15 campaign.

Central midfielder White turned down lucrative offers from the Conference Premier with Dover Athletic and Dartford interested in the robust 25-year-old.

Both White and Collins scored in the Essex Senior Cup final, which Concord won 2-1 against Braintree Town, and won plaudits for their impressive performances, with attacker Collins, 24, scooping players’ player of the year (along with keeper Jamie Butler) and supporters’ player of the year awards at the end of the season.

Basildon Recorder: Midfield battle – Concord’s James White

Staying - James White (yellow) isn't leaving The Beachboys

The Concord boss added keeping the two players were “far better” than bringing in new signings.

“These two players are simply irreplaceable,” said Cowley. “They offer so much in different ways that, no matter who we brought in, it would have been so hard to replace them.

“We are really proud that we are now able to compete with clubs such as Dover and Dartford keen and a lot of credit must go to the players, who have made a footballing decision, instead of a financial one.

“James White would have doubled his wages had he left but he found, as I have in the past, that Concord Rangers is not an easy club to leave and we have a special bond. Keeping players like James and Sam, along with the likes of Jamie Butler who had interest from professional clubs, shows how far we have come.”

The Beachboys have already re-signed the majority of last season’s successful squad – with only Leon Gordon and Lewis Taaffe (who is having trials at Bristol Rovers next month) not agreeing terms.

John Easterford has left for rivals Canvey in a bid to find first-team football and former Southend youngster Alex Woodyard has also joined.

Cowley says he will look to add a few more names before the season starts, with former Welling and Millwall right-back Connor McLaren high on the agenda.

“I am glad the off-season has finished,” said Cowley, who will return for the start of pre-season today. “It has been a difficult summer at times and we are all looking to build for the new season now.”

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