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James Hurst is a 'coup' for AFC Telford

Sport | Published:

Boss Rob Smith believes new signing James Hurst could prove a major coup for AFC Telford United.

The 24-year-old utility man is a product of West Bromwich Albion's academy and most recently played for Guiseley in the National League, on loan from Torquay United.

Capable of playing at full-back, on the wing or behind the striker, Hurst has had two loan spells at Shrewsbury Town and played for Birmingham, Crawley and Northampton.

He played the full 90 minutes for Chesterfield in their 2-0 victory over Swindon Town in the 2012 Johnstone Paint Trophy final at Wembley in front of 49,602 supporters.

And he has also had two stints with Icelandic side Valur Reykjavik and represented England through to under-20 level.

Smith, who worked with Hurst when in charge of Hednesford Town, said: "I brought him over from Iceland to Hednesford and had him for a year before we sold him to Torquay.

"He was quite a big coup for us at Hednesford and I think he is at a higher level than National League North to be honest.

"He can play in a number of positions, he is very athletic and has got an eye for goal as well.

"As I say, he is probably at a higher level than our division but he wanted to come back home, back in the Midlands. We are a big, attractive club for players."

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Hurst is the Bucks' third new signing, following the arrival of defenders Dan Preston and Ben Bailey at the New Bucks Head from Tamworth and Hednesford Town respectively.

As well as sealing the deal with Hurst, the Bucks have tied down midfielder Lucas Dawson for another year.

The 22-year-old was one of Smith's first signings, joining as a free agent last season after a spell at Nuneaton Town, and played a big role in the great escape.

He made 31 appearances and scored five goals. Smith reckons Dawson will only continue to improve and thinks it's a 'no-brainer' to keep him on for next season.

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He added: " Lucas is a young lad and in all fairness it took a bit of time for him to adapt to non-league.

"His rise in form coincided with our good spell in the second half of last season and he managed to get so many assists from corners and free-kicks.

"He is only going to improve so it was a no-brainer to keep him here with us."

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