AMBITIOUS Eastleigh have wrapped up their fourth close-season signing, striking a deal for pacy left winger Dale Binns from Woking.
The Spitfires’ interest in the 31-year-old first came to light at the beginning of May when they announced his ‘move’ on the club website only to quickly withdraw it after the player had slammed them for jumping the gun while he was still under contract with Woking.
But that contract has now expired and Binns was released by the Cards after helping them to a Blue Square Bet South/Surrey Senior Cup double.
The London-born former Spurs youngster spent seven seasons with Hendon and moved on to Cambridge City and Stevenage Borough before becoming part of Lewes’s Conference South-winning side of 2007/08.
After spells with Maidenhead and Hayes & Yeading, he was reunited with his old Lewes boss Steve King at Farnborough, who finished Conference South runners-up and beaten play-off finalists in 2009/10.
Binns was named in the BSB South ‘Team of the Year’ as voted for by managers that season and fits the “been there, seen it, done it” profile that Eastleigh boss Ian Baird is looking for to deliver promotion.
He joins striker Marvin Williams (Salisbury City), defender Osei Sankofa (Boreham Wood) and midfielder Glen Southam (Dover Athletic) on the Spitfires’ list of summer arrivals.
And, if all goes to plan, signing number five will be on his way in the next 48 hours with Baird chasing a 22-year-old midfielder from a Conference National club.
Welcoming Binns to the Silverlake, Baird quipped: “He’s not one for the future, but he’s as fit as a butcher’s dog, has won the Conference South twice and played in the Conference National.
“There’s been some criticism from so-called ‘experts’ saying that we’re signing older players, but Sankofa and Williams are both 24, Southam and Binns are 31 and we’re looking at bringing in a 22-year-old who really is one for the future.
“We’re trying to get a mixture of young and old, but the biggest thing is to get players with the right profile and the right mentality to get us promoted.”
Eastleigh, meanwhile, have agreed a deal with experienced striker Lee Peacock and are due to speak to midfielder Phil Appiah this week.
Negotiations with 19-year-old ex-Saints goalkeeper Jack Dovey have broken down, but Gareth Barfoot has re-signed and Baird, pictured right, is currently talking to two other ’keepers who are “desperate to join us”.