BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Welling United manager Steve King has signed five players – including former Everton and England youth international JP Kissock.
The 28-year-old attacking midfielder has also played for Oldham, Luton Town and Macclesfield.
And Kissock has made it clear that the attraction to play for King, who he did so well under at both Macclesfield and Whitehawk, was a huge factor in heading to Park View Road.
Centre-back Anthony Acheampong, who had joined the Wings on loan from Dulwich Hamlet last season, has signed a one-year deal.
Also coming through the door are Woking captain Richard Orlu and two wingers – Eastbourne Borough’s Gavin McCallum and Whitehawk’s Nassim I’ghoul.
Kissock is a sign of the intention from King to mount a promotion charge at Welling.
“The reason I’ve signed for Welling is that they are a fantastic club,” said the Liverpudlian. “But the main reason I’ve signed is because of Steve.
“At every club I’ve been with him at, we’ve done well.
“We made history at Macclesfield and he shares the same philosophy to me. He gets the best out of me.
“I had quite a few good options up north, full-time, but as soon as Steve texted me about Welling I knew where I wanted to go.
“I’ve played my best football under him.
“He likes to play good football and I like to pick up little pockets of space. He takes the shackles off a little bit when the majority of managers in England are a little bit 4-4-2 and say: ‘We’ll be solid’.
“Steve understands what I am about. I like to find those pockets and play quick little one-twos.”
Kissock has been capped by England at under-17 through to under-19 level.
“I’m 28 now and I really feel like I can achieve something with Steve,” he added. “We did great at Macclesfield. If it is ever going to be time to achieve something, it will be now.
“He has signed some good players. I’ve come to achieve something. Steve is the best manager for me to do that.”
King added: “They call JP the non-league Messi. He is a fantastic player, one of the best I have worked with.
“Because of our relationship we’ve had, and the way I want to play football, it suits him as a player. He is a top, top player.”
Acheampong and Orlu have boosted Welling’s centre-back options.
“Anthony knows the level and is accomplished at the level,” said King. “He is a proper defender and what we need – big and strong.
“Richard had four years at Dover when they got into the play-offs, winning the play-offs, and has played in the National League play-offs as well.
“He has experience and is another no-nonsense defender.”
Canadian McCallum started his career at Yeovil and has been capped at under-20 level.
“He can play either side,” said King.
“Last year he was Eastbourne’s Player of the Year and scored 14 goals from a wide area in all competitions and got nine assists as well.
“He is left-footed and has got fantastic ability. He knows the level inside out and has played 150 times for Eastbourne.
“I’m looking for us to have goals all over the pitch.
“Nassim was one of the standout players last year at Whitehawk. He is very much a fans’ favourite and destroyed Welling when Whitehawk played them towards the end of last season.
“He is only 20. He can get better and go on [to a higher level].”