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Club, First Team

31 May 2024

Farnham Town announce the signing of striker Duarte Martins from AFC Stoneham

Farnham Town are thrilled to announce the signing of prolific striker Duarte Martins from Wessex Premier Division side AFC Stoneham. He will wear the No.9 shirt for the Town.

The newest arrival at The Memorial Ground as we prepare for our first season at Step 4, Martins comes with an excellent goalscoring pedigree during his time in the Wessex Premier Division.

Duarte (pronounced Dwar-tay) made a name for himself in the 2019/20 campaign where he netted 15 goals in 36 appearances for Alresford Town who were on course to secure the Wessex Premier Division title before the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the season prematurely.

From there, he joined league rivals AFC Stoneham where he’s become one of the league’s most feared marksmen. In 2021/22, he bagged 23 goals in 26 starts for the Purps as they secured a top-five finish.

He’s taken his goalscoring exploits to new heights over the last two seasons. In 2022/23, Martins finished third in the goalscoring charts in the Wessex Premier Division with 25 but totalled 40 goals in 44 appearances across all competitions as AFC Stoneham tallied an impressive 95 points, finishing third and missing out on promotion on goal difference. Martins was named AFC Stoneham Player of the Year for 22/23.

This past campaign, the Portuguese-born striker was again in prolific form all season, finding the back of the net on 43 occasions in his 44 appearances, helping the Purps reach 95 points again in the league, this time resulting in a second-placed finish behind champions, Moneyfields. After winning their play-off semi-final over Baffins Milton Rovers, AFC Stoneham fell to a 1-0 defeat to Shaftesbury in the final last month. Over the last three campaigns, Duarte has netted 106 goals in 114 appearances for AFC Stoneham prior to making the move to the Town.

Some Farnham Town fans may remember Martins’ performance in our FA Vase First Qualifying Round clash back in August 2023. After winning our first five games of the season to nil, the Town took the lead against AFC Stoneham before Martins netted a second-half equaliser, the first goal we had conceded all season. Farnham ran out eventual 2-1 winners on the day, but Martins left a lasting impact.

Manager Paul Johnson said: “Martins has been a player we’ve been following all season. He was excellent against us and left his mark on the game. His record speaks for itself, over 100 goals in the last three seasons at close to a goal a game. He’s a tall, physical, powerful, athletic striker who will excite the fans and give defenders a problem next season.

“We’re going to need more firepower up front next season if we are to compete at Step 4 and he should complement what we have already very well. There was significant interest in Duarte from teams at our level and above, but I’m pleased he’s chosen to join us next season and look forward to welcoming him to the squad for pre-season.”

Everyone at Farnham Town would like to give a warm welcome to Duarte and we look forward to watching your progress at the Club!

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