Steels forge ahead with new-look side

Ex Owls star Matt Hamshaw takes on the Kendal Defence
Ex Owls star Matt Hamshaw takes on the Kendal Defence
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Stocksbridge Park Steels boss Darren Schofield says he is looking to bring in at least five new players ahead of the forthcoming Evo-Stik NPL season.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be wholesale changes at Bracken Moor although there will naturally be outing goings at the club for one reason or another.

As Schofield starts planning for what will be Steels fifth season in the top flight and his first full campaign in charge since replacing the sacked Chris Willcock last October the Steels boss said; “I have spoken to the players I want to keep at the club and they have indicated that they would like to stay which is good news.

“That said we know the areas we need to strengthen and have already identified five of six players I would like to bring into the club but we are not going to name names until they have signed on the dotted line.”

Player of the Year Alex Callery along with strikers Danny South and Nathan Joynes, former Owls midfielder Matt Hamshaw and Nick Swirad are understood to be amongst those ready to pledge their immediate future to the club.

Stocksbridge have lined up home friendlies against Sheffield United and Rotherham United on Monday and Wednesday July 22nd and 24th respectively and take on a Sheffield Wednesday X1 on Friday August 2.

Meanwhile, Mark Shaw continues his rebuilding job at Worksop Town. The former Sheffield FC boss has landed full back Jordan Lemon, goalkeeper Ben Hallam and striker Conor Higginson from his previous club Shirebrook Town.

Hallam have named Gerad Jones as their new coach to work alongside manager Chris Sellars and his assistant Wayne Thompson.

It completes what is a new-look management team ahead of the forthcoming NCEL season for the Sandygate Road outfit after Sellars stepped up from his role of assistant manager following the departure of Julian Watts who left to take up the reins at Division One Shirebrook Town last month.

Jones will be tasked with the planning and delivery of all the training sessions, including match day warm-ups and preparations in line with the club’s playing style and philosophy.

Jones is an FA UEFA B Licenced Coach, a full FA level 3 Youth Award Holder and an FA level 4 Football Psychologist. He brings a wealth of experience coached in Italy, New Zealand as well as the UK where he is currently Head Performance Coach at Huddersfield University.

Sellars’ squad report back for pre-season training on June 20. They face Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United sides in friendlies at Sandygate Road on July 15 and 30 respectively.

As part of their warm up programme Hallam also face Sheffield FC away on July 27. The match is to form part of an all-day event to celebrate the world’s first derby with live performances from musicians and an exclusive after-match party in the city centre.