JASON Bristow believes that Jordace Holder-Spooner has the ability to fill the void created by the departure of star striker Delano Sam-Yorke, who is close to signing for Cambridge United.

Sam-Yorke was Basingstoke Town’s top scorer last season but he is now out of contract and looks set to join Blue Square Bet Premier side Cambridge on a free transfer.

The 24-year-old goes with manager Bristow’s blessing after scoring 31 goals in two full seasons at the Camrose, becoming a fans’ favourite in the process.

“I am really pleased for Delano and I hope he shows what he is capable of,” the Town boss said. “He has wanted full-time football for a while but he gave us another year and really put himself in the shop window.

“A few clubs enquired about him in January but he did the right thing by us and stayed. Credit to him for that and now he has got his reward with a full-time contract.”

Sam-Yorke’s departure leaves a gaping hole in the Town forward line, but Bristow believes that Jordace Holder-Spooner could be the man to fill the void.

The 20-year-old made a fantastic start to life at the Camrose last summer but fell away as the season went on, struggling to hold down a place in the side. However, he improved considerably since the turn of the year and Bristow believes that he has the attributes needed to replace Sam-Yorke.

“Jordace is an undoubted talent and with Delano moving on, we are hoping that Jordace can fill his shoes,” the Town boss said. “We have seen in training that there is more to come and hopefully next season will be a big one for him.

“At the start of last season, Jordace was frustrated by injuries and we had a few issues with him. We had a long chat with him at Christmas and some of the senior players took him under their wing.

“Since then he has been fantastic and his attitude has been spot on. He has really turned things around and he deserves his contract.”

Holder-Spooner is one of five players who have already re-signed to spend next season at the Camrose. Joining him are goalkeeper Ashley Bayes and defenders Ross Adams, Rob Rice and David Ray, while left-back Adam Green has joined from Dartford.

“It’s a good start,” Bristow added. “We have spoken to most of the players now and it’s been an interesting conversation with some of them. Hopefully we will be able to announce a few more additions in the coming days.”

However, left-back Ben Jefford, who spent part of last season on loan at Basingstoke, will not be joining on a permanent basis after being offered a contract by League One side Port Vale.