ANDOVER Town boss Glenn Burnett’s busiest ever pre-season is reaping its rewards.

The Southampton-based former Romsey and Blackfield & Langley manager has secured the signatures of AFC Totton winger Mike Gosney and Fawley AFC midfielder Callum Tanner – as well as welcoming defender Luke Dempsey back to the Sydenhams Premier Division club.

Gosney, AFC Totton’s record appearance maker, will go down in history as one of the finest players ever to don a Stags shirt.

And it took all Burnett’s powers of persuasion to get 'the wizard of Gos' to north Hampshire.

“I heard he might not be staying at Totton, so I thought I’d have a go at getting him.

“500 texts and 100 calls later we got him to sign!” Burnett smiled.

“Gos and I do know each other and I’d tried to get him a couple of times in the last eight years and never been successful.”

“It helped this time that we’ve got ex-Totton captain Liam Hibberd with us and Gos has other friends here at the club. They all live local to each other, so it panned out right for us to get him to Andover.”

Tanner is also well known to Burnett having played for him at Blackfield and New Milton Town.

“He’s a fantastic player who fits the mould I like,” said the boss.

“He had a year out with a knee injury, but he made a big impact for Fawley when he came back towards the end of the season and they started to turn things around.”

Defender Dempsey was a player in hot demand before finally leaving Andover for his old club Sholing in December.

“We never wanted to lose Luke, but we had seven seven-dayers (notices of approach) for him last year and, in the end, it told,” said Burnett.

"I appreciate that Luke wanted to go and win trophies and he's just won the Southampton Senior Cup with Sholing, but he’s always been quite fond of Andover and we’re glad to have him back. He’s a big personality.

“Reece Rusher’s been here before too, on loan last year from Salisbury, and he’ll do a good job for us wide right.”

The management team have also been busy drawing up a pre-season programme, including games against Salisbury (Tuesday, July 18) and Basingstoke Town (Saturday, July 22) at The Portway.

Burnett, who took over at Andover last September, said: “It was difficult coming in last year with no pre-season and players in and out.

“This time it’s different. I’ve been in management for eight years and I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in pre-season before to get everything in place and make it as professional as I can get it.

"Andover is a proper football club with a proper fan base and the facilities are fantastic. It’s a Southern League ground, the pitch is immaculate and it’s a very professionally run club."

*More on this story and all the latest regional non-League news in the weekend's Pink.