New-look Grantham Town are 'ready for anything'
With Grantham Town's new season looming ever closer, the new-look Gingerbreads met up at The Meres for a training session on Saturday morning.
Alongside some familiar faces from last season, some of Town's new signings were in attendance.
Matt Tootle is an experienced defender who joins the club from Boston United. His career includes just under 200 appearances for Crewe Alexandra and 95 for Notts County.
More experience comes from the Pilgrims in the form of defender Jake Wright. His career highlights include more than 220 appearances for Oxford United, helping them to promotion back into the Football League, and a very successful spell at Sheffield United.
Defender Charlie Jemson joins the Gingerbreads from Ilkeston. He came up through the Nottingham Forest Academy and has spent time at Peterborough Sports, Coalville Town, Tamworth and Gainsborough Trinity.
Another addition to the Grantham defence is Dan Cocks who joins from Kidsgrove Athletic, having formerly been at Chasetown and Newcastle Town.
Former Gingerbreads goalkeeper Dan Haystead will be back between the sticks at The Meres, coming from Lincolnshire rivals Stamford AFC.
Players from last season under contract are Lee Shaw, Jonathan Wafula, Elliott Durrell, Ricky Miller, Ashton Hall, Steven Leslie, Harry Wood and Sisa Tuntulwana.
Also training on Saturday were more familiar faces in Ellis Storey, Keegan Townrow, Brad Munns, Harry Johnson, Matt McBride and Lewis McCrae.
Gingerbreads manager Matt Chatfield had nothing but enthusiasm for the upcoming season. He said: "I hope we've seen what we did last season in the last few games, of the positive energy we're going to bring to it, the high tempo, everything that we want to bring to this club.
"With the signings that we've made, the players that we've recruited this year, we're not here to take part this year – we're here to really challenge for that top spot.
"There's some good teams in this division and we're not taking anything for granted. But this team will be ready for anything this season."
Grantham Town also this week announced their new shirt sponsors for the season. Home shirts will be sponsored by The Park Hospital. Based in Burntstump Country Park, The Park Hospital provides a wide range of private treatments and services for patients in Grantham, Nottingham and Newark.
Away shirts will be adorned with the logo of the Friends of Sandon and Ambergate School (FOSA), with whom the club already has a close link, official fund raisers for Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship (GANF).
The Gingerbreads' first pre-season fixture is at home to Blackstones next Saturday (July 8) in the South Kesteven Charity Cup, followed by Melton Town away on Tuesday, July 12.
Others: Rossington Main (A) – July 19, Boston United (H) – July 23, Farsley Celtic (H) – July 26, Basford United (A) – July 30, Stamford AFC (A) – August 2.