Hampton & Richmond Borough defender Darren Powell is in line to feature against former club Brentford at the Beveree next Wednesday.
The veteran ex-Bee, who re-joined the Beavers during last season’s Blue Square South relegation campaign, has told boss Mark Harper he is keen to be at the club for the forthcoming Ryman Premier League campaign.
The news comes with Craig Ross, Karle Carder, James Simmonds and Dean Inman having already been confirmed in the squad for next season and striker Joel Ledgister also on the verge of agreeing terms.
But the signature of centre back Powell, who started his career at the Beveree before starring for Brentford, Crystal Palace, Derby County and Southampton, would be a major boost for Harper’s men.
Chairman Steve McPherson revealed his manager was in talks with a host of Blue Square South stars looking for a change of scene.
And he was confident the club would be in a good position to challenge for a swift return to the second tier of non-League football.
“Darren has said he is going to leave things until pre-season but he has said he is keen to remain with the club and it would be great news for us if he stays,” he said.
“Mark is stalking to two players from Sutton United, a couple from Lewes and one from Havant & Waterlooville at the moment and I think if we got one or two in from that lot we will have a good squad.
“They are players looking to drop down because of changes in work commitments and because they liked the way Hampton played football last year.
“Mark has got a year in the job under his belt and will have learned a lot from last year, and if we can get one or two more experienced players in we’ll be in a good position.
“The target has to be to go straight back up because it gets harder the longer you get stuck in the Ryman League. And I think we’ll be well placed to do it.”
League One Brentford, who beat Hampton 6-0 on their last visit to the Beveree 12 months ago, are expected to field a strong side including new signings Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw and Harlee Dean.
And McPherson admitted the Beavers would have their work cut out to compete.
“There was some good football on show last time out, but I think it might be slightly different this time around,” he added.
“They will have their strongest side I think and representatives from there have already been down to have a look at things.
“They’ll be pleased to see the pitch is in good condition. We’ll be ready for them.”
Hampton & Richmond Borough striker Charlie Moone has signed a new contract with the club ahead of the forthcoming Ryman Premier League campaign. Moone scored 11 goals last year, including a hat-trick against Truro City, and is the latest star to commit his future to the club.