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CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Phillips is in it to win it
HOTSHOT Lee Phillips aims to fire Chippenham Town to the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division title after joining the Bluebirds for next season.
The signing of the 31-year-old striker from Bath City is a major coup for Chippenham’s management team with former Cambridge United, Rushden & Diamonds and Torquay United man Phillips already eyeing the top of the table next season.
“I know what Rudgey (Nathan Rudge) will say to everyone about finishing in a good position but I’ve come here because I want to win the league,” said Phillips, who became Plymouth Argyle’s youngest first-team player aged just 15 in October 1996.
“I had the chance to go to a few Conference Premier clubs and a few teams in the Blue Square North and South got in contact. But then I had a number come up on my phone that I didn’t know.
“It turned out to be Rudgey and he told me what he was trying to do down here. It’s not far from where I live in Cirencester so I came over for a chat and was really pleased with what he said.
“I know it’s Rudgey’s first spell in management and I want to bring my experience of what I’ve learned in non-league. He sold the club to me and he sold what he wants to do.”
In 2007, Phillips started a run of three appearances at Wembley in as many years, first scoring for Exeter City in their 2-1 Conference play-off final defeat to Morecambe before playing in the FA Trophy final for Torquay United a year later (a 1-0 loss to Ebbsfleet) and Cambridge United’s 2-0 Conference play-off final loss to Torquay in 2009.
The well-travelled striker said: “I know there’s going to be competition for places and I’ve got no right to come right in and start. I’ll have to earn my place.”
Phillips was one of five new signings unveiled on Monday, Rudge also bringing in young forward Josh Egan, 18, from Bath and 32-year-old former Forest Green Rovers midfielder Scott Rogers, who also has Wembley experience to his name after scoring the only goal for Tiverton Town in 1999 as they beat Bedlington Terriers to retain the FA Vase.
England Futsal captain Luke Ballinger, 24, has been snapped up from local rivals Frome Town while full-back Shaun Lamb, 25, has rejoined the Bluebirds after leaving towards the end of last season.
Rudge, who also confirmed that coaches Matt Bown and Pete Hussey will be staying with the club, said: “We’ve brought in five good players, there’s no question about it.
“Lee comes with good experience and he knows how to win leagues and he’ll score goals.
“Scott is someone I played with for four or five years and one thing they’ve both got in common is that they’ve both scored at Wembley. There aren’t many people you can say who’ve done that.
“ Josh is a young lad who’s come here to learn his trade and Luke’s an attacking player as well.
“Shaun Lamb’s a defender but four attacking players shows that we’re not looking to sit back this year.
“Richard (Fey, assistant), Adie (Mings, director of football) and myself have all worked hard and I think we’ve done great.”