Rival offers too rich for Steels to match

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Stocksbridge Park Steels manager Gary Marrow has lost two players after seemingly becoming ‘the victim of his own success’.

Marrow was at non-league rivals Frickley Athletic when he sold midfielder Martyn Woolford to York City. Two years later, Woolford moved on to Scunthorpe for a reported £200,000, which meant that Frickley cashed in on a well-crafted ‘sell-on’ clause, rumoured to be half that fee.

Frickley did not splash out their new-found fortune straight away. But Steels believe their healthy bank balance has been the reason why they have now lost defender Stuart Ludlam and Alex Callery to them. Steels’ website says the offer for Beighton-based Ludlam was one “he found difficult to refuse”.

Steels’ chairman Allen Bethel said: “We have no axe to grind with Frickley.

“Our club has a number of players who have stayed loyal but there are always those that move around and we have to accept that. Sheffield FC offered Ludlam a good deal but he turned then down because Frickley can offer more than them and us, it’s as simple as that.

“Callery has been everywhere in South and West Yorkshire; he has two young children, needs more money than we can give him and has gone.”

Former Steels manager Peter Rinkcavage has also taken Steels bit-part player Ben Leonard to South Elmsall.

Marrow has made a decent acquisition of his own, in midfielder Matt Telling who has returned from Glapwell.

“Matt as one of the top midfielders in the league,” said Marrow. “Everybody is delighted to have him back.”