THE Taunton Town squad is taking shape for the 2019/20 season, following the signings of Naby Diallo and Josh Grant, and the return of midfielder Jamie Short last month.

Diallo, 28, is a midfielder who the Peacocks' head of football Rob Dray first came into contact with when he was manager at Bridgwater Town (2010-12).

Dray told the County Gazette: “We took him on loan from Weston, he was just a developing lad then.

“He’s gone on to big things since then, playing professional football, and is a really nice lad – he still has a lot to give.

“He’s a great signing for us, and he fits within our budget, as he’s taken a pay cut to join us.

“His first question was whether we had the ambition to go to a higher level.

“He can play in a couple of positions, which is so important for us.

“He can screen the defence or play in a more attacking role, and technically he’s excellent.”

Striker Grant, 27, arrives having won the golden boot with 32 goals for Tavistock AFC in the South West Peninsula League.

“He works really hard and has a good CV, a good background," said Dray.

“Sometimes lads need the chance to play at a higher level.

“He can play as a number nine, the Matt Wright role, or as a 10, the second striker.

“He is coming in to complement the three [Neal, Sullivan and Wright] that we already have, but he will get his chances.

“He’s a good size, he’s hungry and will have a good go.”

Other players are heading in the opposite direction; centre-back Keith Emmerson has departed, and midfielder Matt Buse is expected to follow suit.

Dray said: “It looks like Matt Buse will go.

“Last season he was training at Yeovil Town and Torquay United, and he’s very ambitious.

“He goes with our blessing, as we want to give young players a solid base to play at a higher level if they want to.”

Dray added that talks with defender Josh Nelmes and striker Craig Veal are ongoing, and that Brazilian midfielder Douglas Camilo would most likely play local football next season – though Taunton would maintain his registration.

The majority of the 2018/19 squad have already signed deals through to the summer of 2020, and Dray is satisfied with how things are shaping up.

He said: “I’m content at the moment.

“We know what we’ve got, we need another defender, and we’re in talks with a player – we hope to announce that next week.

“Every pre-season throw up one wildcard, and we have room for that.”