BRAINTREE Town have revealed two more new signings as manager Ryan Maxwell continues to build a new-look squad for the start of the Vanarama National League South campaign, writes DAVID WARD.

Striker Femi Akinwande has made a welcome return to Cressing Road after spending last season with League Two side Stevenage under former Iron scoring legend Alex Revell.

The 25 year-old has joined the National League South side after his contract at the Hertfordshire club ended, last month.

Akinwande said: "I'm really pleased to return to the club as I did enjoy my last spell there and in a way I feel I have some unfinished business to complete.

"I'm really impressed with the new manager and his aims and plan for the coming season and can't wait to get started.

"I'm still looking to improve my game and want to score goals and help the team to do much better than they did last season.

Braintree manager Ryan Maxwell is delighted to have signed the striker.

He said: "We've already seen a glimpse of what he can do and with other good players around him and the way I want the side to play he will fit in and he knows he's still a lot to learn at this level.

"He's a big, strong and quick player who will be a great asset to the side and will score goals for us.

Akinwande originally signed for Braintree at the start of the 2019-20 season, playing 20 consecutive games and scoring six goals.

The former Colchester United striker's last game for the Iron was the 6-2 defeat at Welling United, in which he also scored.

He then moved on to Braintree's league rivals Billericay Town and played 16 times for the Blues, scoring another six goals..

Akinwande was then given the chance to go full-time with a Football League side and signed for Stevenage at the start of last season, ironically making his debut in a pre-season friendly against Braintree.

He was given the squad number 20, and made his debut as a late substitute in the 2-1 defeat at Bradford City in September.

In total he started three league games for Stevenage, and was a used substitute four times, scoring no goals.

"it didn't quite work out there as I had hoped but I'm pleased to be back at Braintree and hope to restart my scoring goals for the team," he added.

Braintree have also signed experienced central defender Lance Akins.

Akins played for Maldon and Tiptree last season and has plenty of know-how at this level of non-league football.

Maxwell added: "I'm really pleased to get Lance on board because again he's a strong, competitive defender with plenty of experience and like any good team we need to build a strong base from the back."

Marcus Gouldbourne has also signed for Braintree.

The 20-year-old pacy winger/striker came through the Stevenage Athletic under-18 ranks.

The Luton-born youngster also had a brief spell in Swedish football with Ytterhagdaka IK before returning to the UK last season when he signed for Hitchin Town, in what was a truncated season because of the Covid outbreak.

"He is an exciting young player with a great deal of potential and we're pleased to get him to Cressing Road," said Maxwell.

Maxwell continues his search for other players to help build a solid foundation for a team that has over the past two disrupted seasons struggled to have a settled squad with players (and managers) coming and going and also relying on promising young loan players coming in from Football League sides.

"We're aiming for a more in-house set up without loan players who you have no control over and we want a squad of players that are committed to the team and our aims and are also hungry for success and with the combinations of experience and young players," he said.

"We'll have plenty of players coming in for trial games so we can have a look at them too and it will give us the chance to have a nicely balanced squad."

Braintree's players will start training together on Saturday in readiness for their first pre-season friendly at home to neighbours Bishop's Stortford on Saturday, July 10, followed by more than a half dozen other such friendlies.

Meanwhile volunteer supporters are continuing to spend every Saturday morning in helping to smarten up the Cressing Road ground in readiness for the new season.

Anybody prepared to give a hand are always welcomed while the clubhouse is now open every Thursday evening for fans to meet with a Covid-regulated bar service available.