GRANTHAM Town bosses Wayne Hallcro and Jimmy Albans have wasted no time in bolstering their squad ahead of next season’s return to the Northern Premier League Premier Division.
The Gingerbreads’ last experience of the higher division came as a result of an FA transfer from the Souther Premier five years ago. A disastrous season saw Town win just four league games throughout their campaign.
Albans and Hallcro have quickly replaced outgoing keeper Rob Murray with the experienced James Lindley from Hucknall Town. Lindley has played in the Blue Square Premier and made more than 100 appearances in the Blue Square North. He was also keeper chosen for the Evo-Stik Division One South team-of-the-year.
Lindley said: “Three Premier Division sides were after me, but Jimmy sold the club to me and the future at Grantham looked the brightest. I hope to bring a calming influence at the back and carry on the traditions of the tightest defence in the division last season. It is a good honest club who do things in a professional way.”
Albans said: “He brings a lot of experience and the respect of other managers last season.”
Albans and Hallcro have uprated their firepower with two young strikers in Connor Higginson, from Sheffield FC, and Karl Demidh who comes from Coalville Town.
The Grantham bosses looked at Demidh when he was still at Bardon and noted his progression at Coalville last season.
Higginson has scored a considerable amount of goals for both Sheffield and Glapwell, and started out with Mansfield alongside Gingerbread Sam Purcicoe. Higginson that he was keen to move up to a higher side and had been impressed with the Grantham set-up.
Higginson said: “I feel I have developed as a player in the last couple of seasons. At Sheffield I was played in a different position, goals weren’t so easy to come by, but I still got 18. I want to play at a higher level and the set-up at Grantham and the way the managers do things always looked good. I had no hesitation in signing.
“I know no-one is guaranteed a start, but I think that I can get among the goals playing off someone like Ben Saunders.”
With Paul Grimes, Lee Potts, Purcicoe and Phil Watt all on contract into next season and “more or less 100 per cent” of the rest of last season’s players signing a new agreement on Monday, Albans and Hallcro look to have their starting squad all but ready for pre-season friendlies that are still well over the horizon.
Albans said: “One more [player] is ideally all we are looking for. Once we have that, we will be settled, which is a great position to be in.
“It shows how much everyone loves things at Grantham. Nearly everybody was straight in and out on Monday night and agreed terms straight away. Everyone has earned the chance to show what they can do at a higher level.
“I am convinced they will all show that they are good enough and we will go into the Premier Division and kick on again.”