Maidenhead United manager Alan Devonshire moved into the transfer market again last week, with three new players committing themselves to the Magpies ahead of the 2021/22 Vanarama National League campaign. This follows the capture of experienced former Woking man Kane Ferdinand two weeks ago.
Two of the new faces will already be familiar to Maidenhead supporters fans. Emile Acquah – a 20-year-old centre-forward from Southend – made his debut for the Magpies on loan from the Shrimpers against Stockport County in Match 2020, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute in 2-1 defeat. Earlier in that game, fellow debutant Dylan Asonganyi – also a 20-year-old who most recently has been contracted to Oxford United – provided an outrageous assist for Ody Alfa to give the Magpies a short-lived lead.
The match was to prove to be Maidenhead’s last game of that COVID-affected season and both players returned to their parent clubs. Acquah scored twice in 34 league and cup appearances for relegation-bound Southend in 2020/21 whilst Asonganyi suffered the misfortune of seeing his loan spell at National League South side Chelmsford cut short due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the third new arrival strengthens Devonshire’s defensive options. 26-year-old Will De Havilland – who counts Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers amongst his former clubs – joins following a spell with Dover Athletic. De Havilland also has National League experience with Maidstone United, for whom he scored twice against the Magpies in a 4-2 Maidenhead win at the Gallagher Stadium in 2018/19. Maidenhead completed the double over the Stones that season, with De Havilland inadvertently scoring the Magpies 89th-minute winner in the reverse fixture at York Road.
Devonshire now has 18 players signed up for the 2021/22 campaign and attention will surely turn to secure viable goalkeeping options. Devonshire used the loan market last season in bringing in Taye Ashby-Hammond from Fulham, James Holden from Reading and Rhys Forster from the Metropolitan Police to cover that specialist position and the Magpies late-season injury crisis came to a head on the final day of 2020/21 when Rhys Lovett – the former Gloucester City and Cheltenham ‘keeper – was forced to play the final few moments as an outfield playing, scoring in a 4-1 win at Boreham Wood.
Ins and outs: Berkshire men’s 2021/22 non-league football transfers