WITTON Albion’s newest recruit can claim something few who have ever played UniBond football can boast – he’s played in the Champions League.
Former Manchester United prospect and England U21 international Ben Thornley joined his brother Rod at Wincham Park after agreeing a move this week.
The 33-year-old, who plays right or centre midfield, was part of the same squad as the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes which won the FA Youth Cup in 1992.
“He’s experienced, he’s looking sharp and he wants to give it a go,” Witton boss Nigel Deeley told the Chronicle. “He’ll give us some versatility and he’ll supplement what we’ve got – and he’s played Champions League football!”
Deeley also confirmed the transfer of former Bolton trainee Mark Drew has been finalised. “There was some confusion last week,” he said. “He was still contracted to Chorley, which we didn’t know and he didn’t know.
“But we’ve got him for a nominal fee and he’ll be a good signing.”
Witton travelled to Newcastle Town last night and are at Ramsbottom on Saturday as the preparations for Deeley’s first full season at the helm get into full swing.
“We’ve got a few injuries and a few senior players missing on Saturday,” said Deeley. “So there will be a number of trialists involved, and it’ll be a good chance for me to have a proper look at them.”
Dino is still looking
NORTHWICH Vics’ search for new blood goes on after a fruitless week in the transfer market.
Manager Dino Maamria has made no secret of his desire to bring new faces to the Marston’s Arena, and a striker is his top target. The Vics’ board have tightened the purse strings, but Maamria is still busy trying to unearth new talent.
Northwich owner Jim Rushe told the Chronicle: “We’ve reduced the budget a little bit due to the financial situation across the country. We’ve asked Dino to work within that budget and he’s got his targets.”
Back-up keeper Ben Connett has this week joined former Winsford United manager Chris Willcock at Woodley Sports, and Maamria is still trying to get midfielder Michael Byrne to re-sign.
The Welsh non-league international arrived Marston’s Arena from Stockport in 2005 and was a key figure in the club’s promotion from the Conference North the following year.
Vics host a Wigan Athletic XI tonight, and manager Steve Bruce has vowed to field a strong side.
Rushe said: “He has intimated there will be some good players there – we’re looking forward to it.”
Admission for the 7.30pm kick-off is £8 for adults, £5 for over-65s and £1 for under-16s.