JAMES Coates has been named the new Shortwood United captain following the departure of Jake Parrott.

The long-serving former Cheltenham Town trainee has left the club after moving to London with work.

Coates, 26, joined the Nailsworth outfit at 18 and the former Marling schoolboy has landed the role following a stellar season at the Southern League side, which saw him scoop the manager’s player of the year accolade.

Coates said: “I would like to thank Sykesy (Alex Sykes) and Evo (John Evans) for the opportunity. Jake Parrott has been a great captain and a good friend, so it will be a huge loss on both fronts.

“Having played with Hosky (Andy Hoskins) , who was the captain when I arrived and Ash Thomas for most of my senior football-I know that they will help as I have the upmost respect for both of them.”

Coates is confident Shortwood will prosper despite a major squad rebuild, which has seen Sykes and John Evans lose a raft of players.

“Although we have a lost a few players from last season, we have trained well and there were lots of positives to take out of the first pre- season game, the new lads coming in all look sharp and hopefully we can go some way to replicating what we did last season, and a play- off position is what we are all aiming for after coming so close last season.”

Rovers have added former Cheltenham Town and Bishop’s Cleeve striker Jake Lee and have also snapped-up giant Welsh striker Lewis Sommers from Mangotsfield United.

Ex-Gloucester City right-back Sam Rawlings has also penned a deal at Meadowbank alongside former Forest Green Academy forward Nial Morgan who played for England U19s in the European Colleges tournament in May.