Vanarama National League Ones To Watch: Part Three

By Tom Scott

The new season is inching closer and our sides are adding to their squads.

We asked Joe Pope, founder of Off The Line blog to assess the players you should be keeping an eye on next season.

Vanarama National League – Aaron Williams-Bushell (Oxford City)
Oxford City’s promotion from the National League South almost came from nowhere and under the radar, as they upset the bookies to secure a first ever fifth tier campaign. However, someone whose performances most certainly did not go under the radar is that of full-back Aaron Williams-Bushell.

The success of The Hoops this term has been built on giving players a platform to take their game to another level and thrive at the opportunity of higher football, and Williams-Bushell most certainly took the opportunity which was presented his way.

One of the ever-present cogs in a City side that employed a swashbuckling, attacking brand of football, Williams-Bushell quickly showed himself to be a capable component of that with his athleticism and drive from full-back.

Signing from Maldon and Tiptree, Williams-Bushell has shown his composure on the ball, operating almost as a winger when the team is in possession. Using his pace to get up in support of the attacking players, he has demonstrated himself as a capable runner, good athlete, the technical quality to dribble past players and the engine to get back and snuff out any danger in transition too.

In a small City squad, his versatility has been a real benefit to Ross Jenkins. His ability to perform various roles in the side and delineate seamless transition in a tactical sense – moving into midfield in possession, step inside as a central defensive player, and switch between both sides of the pitch on occasion – all while maintaining his effectiveness is depictive of a player with a real intelligence and skillset owing to a greater level; and he now gets the chance to show that.

Vanarama National League North – Aurio Teixeira (Hereford)
Paul Caddis has maintained a focus on signing young, hungry players with a potential to play higher in his relatively short reign in charge of The Bulls, with a host of perhaps relatively unknown and more youthful additions having been made. Perhaps the pick of those, and one likely to be at the heartbeat of everything Hereford do this term, is Aurio Teixeira.

Signed from Alvechurch, Teixeira was formerly on the books of Midlands side West Bromwich Albion as part of a strong – and successful – academy set-up. His move to Hereford comes after being crowned as Player’s Player of the Season for The Bulls and reportedly arrives at Holker Street having been of interest to a number of sides higher up the division; thus, his signature in the sixth tier is sure to be a coup.

As a player, Teixeira is a defensive midfielder that has a real hunger and tenacity in the way that he tries to win the ball back.

Snapping into tackles to try and set the tone and turn over possession. He is the sort of player who imposes himself on the opposition to do the dirty work and screen the back four, and then when in receipt of the ball has the composure to play, pick a pass and get his team moving higher up the pitch.

Paul Caddis highlighted how one of his redeeming features that attracted him to want to sign the former Baggies player was his ability to put the team ahead of himself, and that selfless, undeterred, hard-working manner in which he applies himself is central to his game.

Every team needs a player that is able to sit as a lynchpin in midfield and dictate the game both in and out of possession, and having shown that with Alvechurch, this is the perfect opportunity for him to show he can do it at a higher level; I have no doubt he will.

Vanarama National League South – Ben Seymour (Hampton and Richmond Borough)

The Beavers have caught the eye so far this summer with the business they have done, signing well amid increased investment, and one player that has been a particularly impressive capture on paper is former Plymouth Parkway man Ben Seymour.

Seymour is formerly on the books of Exeter City – a club known for having a good track record for developing promising young talent – and Beavers boss Mel Gwinnett knows Seymour well having coached him during their time together at St James’ Park. Thus, Gwinnett was eager to bring Seymour to the club to bolster their attacking options and he most certainly does that.

He has excelled in recent campaigns under the guidance of a good local coach in Lee Hobbs, a key part of the success Parkway have had in stabilising themselves as a comfortable mid-table side. Indeed, while Parkway get set to compete in the Southern League once again next term, it was evident – having scored 20 goals in 37 appearances – that he would instead be making the step-up to a higher division; thus, it was no surprise to see The Beavers come in for his services.

Seymour himself is a small and tricky player, often looking to play on the shoulder of opposition defences where he can make runs in behind and utilise his pace and running power to provide an outlet.

He has clever movement to drag defenders away, often dropping deep and spinning into the space behind the opposition backline and has showed improved output in front of goal. Perhaps one let go by The Grecians too early, but nonetheless a talented player.

Where next?

More Deals Are Done As Players' Pre Season Returns Near It’s been another busy week of transfers with a return to pre-season training now in sight.
Norwich Reel In Fisher As Latest Young Talent Steps Up The National League is once again demonstrated it is a springboard to success for young talent as one of the competition’s up-and-coming stars sealed a big move.