MANAGER Marc Benterman has linked up with some familiar faces when making the latest additions to his Witham Town squad.

As the new Witham boss continues making preparations and building towards the start of the BetVictor Isthmian League division north season, versatile forward Jordan Palmer and midfielder Charlie Barlow have followed him to the Simarco Stadium from Stansted FC.

The Town boss was in joint charge at Stansted last year, leading them to runners-up spot in the Essex Senior League, and both were there with him last year.

Palmer also worked under Benterman when he was at the helm at Halstead Town a few years ago.

Benterman said: "I know Jordan very well indeed and he was excellent when playing 44 games for me last year.

"He is so versatile and Charlie will be imperative to what we are doing this year.

"He was also with me at Stansted.

"He gets the ball in midfield, keeps things ticking over and dictates the pace so I'm very glad to have him on board.

"They are both people I know well and I believe you should surround yourself with people who you know.

"We now have some real leaders in the squad and there is a nice balance to it, with plenty in there who know how to roll their sleeves up.

"They've showed that in the pre-season games we've had and have shown real character."

Witham have had a busy week of pre-season action, with a 3-0 win at Tiptree Engaine last weekend followed by trips to Mildenhall Town and White Notley this week and they continue with something else that will be familiar to the manager as they head to Halstead Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

It will see Benterman return to another of his former clubs and he is looking forward to the game.

he said: "It's fantastic and I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends.

"I still know a lot of people there and plenty have told me they'll be coming along.

"It will be lovely going back and I hope both clubs get good minutes on the pitch out of it."

"Hopefully we'll see another positive performance from the boys.

"Results are nice, but it's the performance that we're really looking for and we've been very pleased with what we've seen so far.

"I'm feeling very relaxed about things as the boys have been superb and they've done everything that we've asked of them.

"It was a very physical test on Saturday (at Tiptree Engaine) and we are getting closer to where we want to be.

"We have a squad now of 17 or 18 and we want to be around the 20 mark.

"That should be good as we also have talented boys coming through from the under-23s and reserves as well.

"So we are happy where we are and the only headache is going to be making sure we pick the right 11 as everyone is offering something different."

Meanwhile, Benterman hailed the work done by Witham's committee in securing a major sponsorship deal for the club as local logistics firm Simarco came on board this week.

In addition to the club's Spa Road home being now known as the Simarco Stadium, the company's branding will appear on the first team home, away kits and tracksuits next season and the manager said it was good news for all involved.

"It's great news off the pitch as well as all the good stuff that's going on on it," he said.

"I know how much hard work was put in by people to get it sorted and I'm really pleased for those working behind the scenes at the club.

"It's hard to bring in sponsorship and having a local company involved is great for everyone.

"It just shows how we're going from strength to strength off the pitch."