Grantham Town unveil new players

Jimmy Albans

Jimmy Albans

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GRANTHAM Town have this week revealed the names of four new signings for the forthcoming season.

Pre-season training commenced at The Meres last night when supporters were able to get their first glimpse of some of the Gingerbreads’ fresh talent in action.

Joint manager Jimmy Albans said the new additions to the Grantham line-up should ensure a better start to the season than the previous two years, and said a fifth signing was also in the pipeline.

Albans said: “We want to show our best form before Christmas as well as after. We deliberately only added a few players to the squad and will not be blooding a lot of players. We have not issued an open invite to triallists this season.

“We will run through pre-season with what we hope will be our squad for the season.”

Central defender Grant Brindley, nephew of former Gingerbread Bill Brindley, joins from Hucknall Town where he gained experience of playing in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division.

Albans said: “I have tried to sign Grant for the last three to four years. He is a no nonsense centre half, heads the ball, tackles strongly and is a physical presence. He is also a good player to man mark people.

“He brings us strength in depth and at 27 to 28 years old, is in his prime. He felt he needed a new challenge and realises coming here is going to be tough to break into the side.”

Albans and co-boss Wayne Hallcro have also acquired the signatures of two Brigg Town players to bolster their strength, both at the back and up front.

Albans said: “Scott Helliwell is a slightly different player to Grant, although they both occupy the same position. He was a very good player at Brigg last season and stood out in a good side. He is very competitive and likes to get the ball at his feet.

“He reads the game very well which makes him so good. He loves to play football and is coming to us at the right age. Despite the competition for places, we didn’t have to sell the club to him, he was happy to come straight away.

“We missed a top notch striker last season and tried to sign Paul Grimes at Christmas as we felt he would have given us a boost we would have benefited from. He stayed loyal to manager Steve Housham, but as soon as he left the club, the door was open for us to get in there.”

The fourth player signed is Hucknall striker Tris Whitman who played in the Football League with Doncaster Rovers and with Tamworth and Crawley in the Conference.

Albans said: “At 32, he [Whitman] is a hugely experienced striker. He will be important to us on a number of levels. The other player we are looking at is a ball playing midfielder, something that we lacked at times last season.”

Albans said that he and Hallcro’s aim was to build for the long term at Grantham and said that all the squad wanted to be part of that plan and were prepared to fight for their places in the team.

Albans said: “We want something here that can succeed for the foreseeable future and do things right for years to come.

“We have got three big friendlies in a short space of time with the games against Eastwood, York and Corby. That will give everyone a chance to show what they are about in big games, while helping with fitness and sharpness at the same time.”

The Gingerbreads will have to wait a while before last year’s late signing Antwon Bonnick is match fit as he has only just had a cast removed following his leg operation.