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Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:20 UK

Kettering boss Lee Harper and squad members agree deals

Lee Harper
Harper is a former Arsenal and Northampton Town goalkeeper

Kettering Town player-manager Lee Harper has agreed a new two-year contract to stay at Rockingham Road.

JP Marna, Marcus Kelly, Darren Wrack, Damien Spencer, Patrick Noubissie, James Dance and Greg Taylor have also signed one-year contract extensions.

Defenders John Dempster and Sol Davis have agreed two-year deals.

Harper told BBC Radio Northampton: "The chairman has found his love for the club again and will do everything to ensure we have a good season."

The 38-year-old manager took charge of the Poppies after Mark Cooper moved to manage Peterborough United.

He will be assisted next season by new signing Tommy Jaszczun from Corby Town, who will also provide cover at left-back.

"Unfortunately, a club our size couldn't afford to have both myself and [former assistant manager] Marvin Johnson as staff, as well as have a go at competing with clubs above us.

The chairman is excited about what he wants to do with the club

Poppies boss Lee Harper

"Tommy is vastly experienced and a good addition to the squad."

Harper will still be available to play, though he insists that will happen only in emergencies.

"I need an operation, but I do feel I could still play on a limited basis," he said. "I'll make myself available to be a number two if required, if it's the odd game."

Poppies owner Imraan Ladak resigned as chairman in January, expressing frustrations about the club's inability to secure a longer lease at their Rockingham Road ground.

However, he subsequently resumed his duties in April.

"The chairman is excited about what he wants to do with the club," said Harper.

"He does have the finances, the desire and the passion to take Kettering forward. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't commit my future here."

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see also
Kettering boss happy with sixth
21 Apr 10 |  Kettering
Harper 'powerless' to change team
06 Apr 10 |  Kettering
Harper unsure of Poppies future
02 Apr 10 |  Kettering
Ladak resigns as Poppies chairman
08 Jan 10 |  Kettering

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