BRANTHAM Athletic joint-boss Michael Brothers believes his side have struck gold in signing forward George Clarke.

The talented striker netted both goals in last week’s 2-1 Thurlow Nunn League premier division victory at home to Newmarket Town.

Clarke has been sidelined for 18 months after having two ankle operations but joined late last year and made his third appearance of the season - only his second start - against the Jockeys.

Now the former Ipswich Town apprentice, who has previously been with the likes of Brightlingsea Regent and Needham Market, will be hoping for an injury-free, goal-laden 2018.

“We’re absolutely delighted with George,” said Brothers.

“He’s a local lad who’s had a terrible time with injury. Now he’s back and while I’m reluctant to compare him with anyone, I’d say he’s in the same mould as (prolific former Brantham striker) Ollie Mann.

“He’s big and strong but has also got pace, which is a rare combination.

“He holds the ball up and isn’t afraid to mix it with defenders.

“He offers us something a bit different and we’re excited to have him, because he’ll certainly add firepower to our attack.”

Brantham have another familiar face among their ranks after signing winger Sean Gunn.

The former Imps favourite has rejoined after a spell at Suffolk and Ipswich League side Capel Plough.

“Sean left for his own reasons but I think he missed Brantham and playing in the Thurlow Nunn League,” added Brothers.

“He knows the lads and the club so well and, from our point, it’s great to have him back.

“Sean’s a confidence player but technically he’s excellent and could play at an even higher level.

“I believe he’d get in most teams in our league and have always rated him.”

Brantham’s success against Newmarket left them fourth in the table - two points behind Stowmarket Town and seven behind Coggeshall Town.

Clarke put the Imps ahead at the end of the first half and doubled their lead after the break, before the Jockeys pulled one back through an Omer Riza strike.

However, the Imps held on for victory and Brothers said: “It was a perfect response to the disappointment of the Stanway Rovers defeat on Boxing Day.

“That was a really bad day at the office and in terms of performance, workrate and endeavour we were found wanting.

“But it meant no team talk was needed before the Newmarket game.

“It would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves but the players were determined to put right the wrongs of that day.

“They showed real character and it was a big result for us, which keeps us well placed in the table.”

Striker Sam Newson is available for tomorrow’s game at home to Haverhill Borough (kick-off 3pm), having been suspended against Newmarket.

Ben Newson is also available, as is striker Terry Rymer, who has recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered against Stowmarket Town on December 9.

Adam Bloss returned to training this week after a spell on the sidelines but is not fit enough to be considered for a return to action.

Midfielder Craig Hughes is still several weeks away from being fit.