MARK COOPER has made his first two signings as Forest Green Rovers boss, bringing in young defender Jon Moran and striker Christian Doidge.
Moran, who can play at centre-half or right-back, starred for Evo-Stik NPL Premier side Nantwich Town last season, helping them to the FA Trophy semi-finals.
His performances had attracted interest and he was on trial with another club when Forest Green came calling for his services.
The Gloucestershire outfit, who lost in the National League promotion final to Grimsby Town, agreed an undislosed fee with Nantwich and Moran has signed a two-year deal.
The former Crewe youngster said: “As soon as I got the phonecall to tell me Forest Green were interested, I was chomping to the bit to sign and thankfully Mark has given me the chance.
“At a young age it’s all about confidence and having somebody that is going to trust you. Mark has told me what he expects and I want to prove I’m ready to play at this level.
“Being a centre-half, it’s important to get game time and experience. I’ve played against some brutes so far in Non-League and learnt a few tricks of the trade – hopefully I can learn some more now!”
Joining him at the New Lawn is striker Doidge, 23, who has signed a two-year contract after leaving new league rivals Dagenham & Redbridge.
The forward scored eight goals and contributed four assists in 35 league appearances for the Daggers in League Two, enough to convince Cooper to bring him in.
“Christian is a player that was bought to my attention toward the end of last season,” the boss told Rovers’ website. “He had a few clubs after his signature and we managed to beat them off.
““He brings pace, is hard working, mobile, good in the air, and will be a real handful for defenders. Christian is also a good age, still only 23, so has a lot of development in him.”
Meanwhile, Cooper has appointed Scott Lindsey as his assistant, with Steve Hale becoming goalkeeping coach and Tom Huelin coming in as fitness coach – all three joining from his former club Swindon Town.