'We always miss Adie – it's great to have him back' at Bath City
Adie Britton believes the return of Adie Harris to Bath City next season will add a vital ingredient to his dressing room mix.
The fiery Welsh midfielder will embark on his fourth spell at City in seven years following the demise of former club Neath, who were wound up in the High Court last month.
Harris left Twerton Park a year ago to play full-time football for the Welsh Premier League side and Britton admitted City lacked his bite and relentless enthusiasm in the engine room as they suffered relegation from Blue Square Bet Premier.
"Adie loves the club and the set-up, so when it became clear Lewis Hogg wasn't going to accept our offer, we were more than pleased to give him the chance to come back," said Britton.
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"It will be lovely to have him in the dressing room again. In my seven years at the club, we've missed him whenever he hasn't been there.
"He's vivacious, noisy and stupid at times but we love his humour and I know when he crosses that white line on a matchday he will do as much for Bath City as anybody who has worn the shirt."
Harris originally signed for City in 2005 but departed for Haverfordwest and Newport County before twice returning to help them win promotion.
While not a direct replacement for Hogg, who signed for Gloucester last week, Britton is certain the fans' favourite will complement the midfielders he hopes to have at his disposal for next season's Blue Square Bet South assault.
"We noticed a change in the way sides in the Premier played last year and it was a lot more physical," said Britton.
"We played some great football but got beaten up at times and needed more aerial ability. The two things Adie will definitely give us are energy and an ability to win the ball, particularly in the air.
"Adie's problem is that he wants to play every game, whereas I know which games he is suited to. But with a such small squad, he is sure to play a really big part for us next season."
Britton has also retained the services of former Wales international keeper Glyn Garner, who will be challenged for the number one jersey by newcomer Jason Mellor.
"Glyn didn't do very well in the first third of last season but improved immeasurably in the last 14 or 15 games and made very few mistakes in that time," said Britton.
"We have made our decision based on what he did at the end of the season because sometimes it takes time for a new player to settle in and we believe he has done that now."
The City boss expects midfielder Adam Connolly to extend his stay at the club into a fourth season and is still on the hunt for a new strikeforce, with Lee Phillips and Jamie Cook released at the end of last term and top-scorer Sean Canham returning to parent club Hereford United.
"We're looking at bringing in a couple more defenders and a couple of attackers," said Britton.
"A number nine and a number ten are what we are after – preferably two nines and a ten if we can manage it – but it is more difficult in that area because they are the ones who can make or break your season."
City have added three away friendlies with Southern League sides to their pre- season schedule and will visit Cirencester Town on Tuesday, July 24, Clevedon Town on Tuesday, August 7 and Yate Town on Saturday, August 11. Kick-off times for all three games are yet to be confirmed.
The club's Development Squad have friendly dates pencilled in with Toolstation League teams Odd Down and Shepton Mallet.