NORTHWICH Vics, Witton Albion and Winsford United resume training this week – and all expect there will be more new signings before the season starts.
Trialists will be a feature of the summer sessions as the three managers allow themselves leeway on their budgets to augment their squads.
So far Vics have signed Mike Jones (Wrexham), Matt Bailey (Crewe), Richie Sutton, Chris Flynn (both Stafford) and Paul Barratt (Southport) with Mark Roberts’ move from Accrington being made permanent.
Jones is a goalkeeper set to challenge Scott Tynan, who has apologised to the club for using his page on the Facebook website to say he was dissatisfied with his wages at Vics. Tynan signed a new contract only last season.
Scott Willis, Stuart Settle (both Leigh RMI), goalkeeper Greg Smith (Hucknall) and Paul Donnell (Nantwich) are Witton’s new signings, while Sean Holmes, Mike McGarra (both Cammell Laird), Anthony Mark (Flixton), amateur Sean Moran and Tom Swann (Barnton) are the additions at Winsford.
Vics’ owner Jim Rushe attended last week’s Supporters’ Trust annual meeting and explained the consortium led by Nick Bone was still negotiating with owner Mike Connett to buy the stadium and land at the Marston Arena.
The Mid Cheshire Sunday League will kick off with only 30 teams next season.
Numbers have been steadily reducing over the last 10 years and in September nine teams will start in the Premier Division, 10 in the First – both relegating only one side for the first time – and 12 in the Second, the annual meeting agreed on Sunday.
New clubs are Fern Villa, based at Knight’s Grange and Three Greyhounds (Sutton Lane, Middlewich), while Blue Barrel and Garage (ex-JW’s) were re-elected. Beech Tree have changed their name to Owl Athletic, White Lion to Salty.
Presentations at the meeting were to: Goostrey, fair play award; Rifleman, linesman award; Lee Mitchell, of WCC Wanderers, secretary of the year; league secretary Vic Knop for 30 years’ service and Susan Baker, 10 years’ service.