Manager Gary Mills has moved quickly to bolster his squad and recruited striker James Gray, who has spent the last three seasons with Accrington Stanley in League Two.
The former Middlesbrough striker left the Riverside in October 2011 to join Darlington, shortly after they had lifted the FA Trophy, but the then Conference club was already heading for administration and he was quickly on his travels again, teaming up with Kettering for the remainder of the season.
That summer he was invited to a trial by Accrington boss James Beattie and did enough to earn himself a one year-contract at the Crown Ground, which was extended in 2013.
In June 2014, James penned a new two-year contract with Stanley, after the Northern Ireland under 21 international had scored eight goals in 23 starts during the previous campaign.
He was also drafted into the Northern Ireland squad for their trip to South America, which saw Michael O’Neill’s side play against Uruguay in Montevideo and Chile in Valparaiso. James was an unused substitute for the game with Uruguay.
A regular with the Under 21’s, who he has also captained, James was delighted to be given the chance to make the next step, following in the footsteps of his dad, Northern Ireland international Phil Gray.
Back at Accrington and he started the 2014/15 season in fine fashion, scoring five goals in the opening eight games, before receiving a red card at Oxford United. While he was suspended John Coleman returned to Stanley’s hotseat, following Beattie’s decision to stand down.
While James did feature after that, it was more usually as a substitute, so when the opportunity to move out on loan came he was ready to be playing again. There was a false start at Southport in February, before Northampton took himto Sixfields in March. Where he played eight times and scored three goals, including a late winner against Luton Town.
James cancelled the remaining year of his contract by mutual consent on Monday and became a free agent.