Midfielder Sam Deering has signed a permanent contract to stay at Ebbsfleet United through the 2016/17 season. The former Oxford United and Cheltenham Town winger joined on a short-term agreement from Whitehawk in March, going on to feature in nine matches – including all three play-off games – and Fleet boss Daryl McMahon believes his displays have warranted a permanent position in the squad.
Meanwhile, the club has agreed to announce some further departures prior to their June 30th contract termination date with eight players due to be released. They are: Tom Bonner, Brandon Hall, Lloyd Harrington, Joe Howe, Kelvin Langmead, Theo Lewis, Aiden Palmer and Robbie Willmott. Langmead and Lewis joined in January 2015 but spent last season on loan at Kidderminster Harriers and Havant & Waterlooville respectively, while Willmott was a summer signing in 2015 but ended the campaign at Bishop’s Stortford.
Club captain Tom Bonner will sign for neighbours and former club Dartford, having agreed pre-contract terms, following a 15-month spell at the Fleet having been recruited from Cambridge United by Jamie Day. He made 55 appearances in his time at Stonebridge Road.
Lloyd Harrington and Aiden Palmer will seek to continue their rehabilitation with regular first-team football elsewhere next season and have been excellent professionals in their time at the club. Harrington arrived from Dover in 2014 while Palmer was an instant hit on signing from Chelmsford in 2013, going on to play a key part in Fleet’s drive to the play-offs that season and accruing 79 club appearances.
Goalkeeper Brandon Hall broke into the first team during 2014/15 and earned England C caps in his time at Stonebridge Road, clocking up 74 appearances in the process and establishing himself as a young player with a bright future in the game.
Joe Howe, meanwhile, passed the 200-appearance mark last season at Stonebridge Road, and his departure brings to a close a six-year association with the club he first played for briefly in 2007. Twice player of the year, he won the play-offs with the Fleet in 2010/11 and spent two seasons in the Conference Premier, establishing himself as an adaptable full back and a real fans’ favourite.
The club is keen to thank all the players for their efforts in a Fleet shirt and wishes them the best of fortunes in their future careers.