NANTWICH Town head coach Steve Davis has strengthened his squad as the Dabbers prepare to return to action this weekend.
Davis has snapped up former Wigan Athletic midfielder Paul Santos and he is also set to run the rule over Stockport youngster Matthew Davies in a friendly against Oldham Athletic behind closed doors at Stone on Saturday. Tuesday's home match with Stafford Rangers is off because of pitch problems.
Davis said: 'Paul Santos was with me at Northwich last year but never got his chance.
'He is an energetic midfield player with a good engine and I think he's going to improve. I'm sure he'll be a useful addition.
'I'm also looking at Matthew. He's six foot one, has had good coaching in the past and we need someone up there who can hold it up.'
Davis is also on the lookout for a new goalkeeper after experienced custodian Stuart Heeps joined Kidsgrove Athletic last week.
'I'm really looking for someone who's fairly young with a point to prove and who eventually wants to move on to play in the Football League,' explained Davis.
'We have a fairly young squad but my plan is to run a squad of 18 players while regularly assessing the youngsters in the reserve and youth teams.
'I want younger players to see they've got a chance to play in the first team as other players in our reserve and youth teams will then see that I'm prepared to give good youngsters a chance. We've got to make that system work.'
After a couple of weeks on the training ground, Davis is now ready for the pre-season programme.
He said: 'Everyone wants to play and now it's all about match fitness. I'm pleased with the way it has gone so far. We had a little practice match on Saturday and everyone was flying about, charging at the ball like a pack of ants. I'm encouraged by their enthusiasm.'
ALSAGER Town manager Greg Clowes has added three more play-ers to his first-team squad for the coming campaign.
Clowes had already landed strikers Dave Walker, from Stone Dominoes, Anthony Tarr, from Norton, and Mark Grice, from Audley.
He has now bolstered his squad by snapping up midfield men Phil Parkinson and Peter Heller from Newcastle Town and Leek CSOB respectively.
Under-18s goalkeeper Ashley Picking has also been promoted to the senior squad.
Clowes explained: 'We had another good season last year but it could have been a lot better.
'We drew too many games and didn't score enough goals.
'Our defence is one of the best in the league, so this season we've added three new strikers and also added to our midfield which should make us a much stronger side.
'With an excellent response to our new scholarship scheme, we would hope that some of the young lads would also progress through the ranks and let's not forget Graham McGarry's U18s team.
'Last season, Carl Espley joined the first team and was tremendous and this season Ashley Picking has joined us.'
With another talented youngster in Kieran Dawson also waiting in the wings, the club believes it is set for a successful season.
Clowes would like to see more support from the Alsager public.
He said: 'We are a family-orientated club and would love to see more Alsager residents supporting the team this season.'