WITH the signings of Siju Odelusi and Kurt Smith have given Witham Town manager Mark Ashford confidence that he has the depth within his squad to now have proper competition for places all over the pitch.

The duo have joined Witham this week and could be part of the squad that heads to Grays Athletic for a Bostik League division north clash on Saturday and Ashford is glad to have them on board.

He said: "I feel we have cover now in every single position and that will be important as we go through the season and injuries come. "We can feel confident that we can fill a 16-man squad on matchdays with five on the bench who are capable of being as good as anyone in the starting line-up.

"I want players to be comfortable being here, but I don't want anyone feeling their place is guaranteed.

"When anyone drops out and someone comes in, I want them to take their opportunity and keep their place.

"That is the culture we have to build at the club."

Odelusi has joined Witham from Bostik League division north rivals Barking and Ashford is glad to have a young player who he regards highly and can be a versatile member of his squad on board.

He said: "Siju is a 20-year-old who has come in after spells with Tilbury and Barking and he's very much a player who fits the profile of those who I have been recruiting.

"He can play in numerous positions - centre-half, centre-forward in central midfield.

"He really can play in all those roles as he is technically good, is tall and athletic, can play with his back to goal up front and in defence and has a good range of passing. "He is an all-round good footballer and I'm very grateful to Barking for releasing him to allow us to sign him."

For Smith, it is a second spell at Witham after he was previously with the club under manager Garry Kimble and Ashford is keen to make use of his experience so he can have a similar impact as the one that Kevin Coyle has had since coming into his squad.

"We've brought Kurt Smith in from Romford," said the Witham boss. "He was at the club before so knows Witham and I see him in a similar profile to Kevin Coyle.

"He can play in several positions, but he is a really good professional to have around the team, both on and off the pitch. "He has a lot of experience that he can pass on, but he still also works hard in training and wants to improve himself still.

"I've seen the effect that Kevin Coyle has had on the team and I feel Kurt can do the same. "We are a young squad and we've brought in another youngster with potential like Siju so bringing in another experienced player like Kurt adds a nice balance."