Friends re-United for City boss Clarke

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They may be loitering in the lower reaches of the Blue Square Bet Conference South behind the likes of Weston-super-Mare, Truro City and Eastleigh but there is nothing part-time about the very professional Salisbury City.

The Wiltshire-based club have made the most of recruiting young players released from league clubs, who are still hungry to break back into the Football League.

Darrell Clarke, player-manager, of Salisbury said the squad is full-time even though it operates on a fraction of the budget that a club such as Sheffield United will work with.

He said: “All the lads are full-time. It actually works out cheaper than a lot of the clubs who are part-time. We’ve got a lot of young lads who have just come out of the league after a year as a pro who are working hard to try and get back.

“They still have that hunger inside them to succeed.

“Our monthly wage bill is probably the same as one week for one player at Sheffield United.”

Clarke, from Mansfield, knows United’s squad and some of the city’s other players well. During a spell at Hartlepool he played alongside Blades centre-half Neill Collins and when he was with his local team at Field Mill he could count Richard Cresswell and Lee Williamson as colleagues.

“I know everything about them!” joked Clarke.

“When I was at Mansfield I even had Nicky Weaver (Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper) as my boot boy.”