Ryan Maxwell has pulled off a huge transfer coup for his Walthamstow side. Joining the club is the vastly-experienced Craig Pope, who was with Harlow Town in the Bostik Premier last season.

Centre-back Pope has almost 20 years experience at non-league, having begun his career with Barnet in 2000, and will be Walthamstow’s player/assistant manager.

Speaking to the club’s website, Ryan Maxwell said “This is a massive signing for the club. Craig has been promoted a few times and captained teams at a higher level.

“Craig has been my team mate at Grays and Sudbury, and he’s someone I know inside out.

“The club’s standards on and off the field really have gone up a notch with the signing of Craig.

“To leave Harlow Town in the Bostik Premier to come here shows the club’s ambition and direction.

“We both see the game the same way. We’re both very demanding people and I know Craig’s itching to get going.

Craig came through Barnet’s youth ranks making a total of 31 appearances, scoring once in the Conference National over three years with the club. He left Underhill in 2003 subsequently joining Southern Premier League club Cambridge City, helping them reach the Conference South.

After four years at the club, he moved to City’s neighbours Histon ready for their first season in the Conference National. Craig made 69 appearances for the Stutes before signing for Thurrock in December 2009, staying there until last summer when he joined Grays Athletic, eventually making 144 appearances for the Blues.

After a spell with AFC Sudbury, Pope moved to Harlow Town where he was first team captain, helping them earn promotion to the Bostik Premier.