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Story posted: Friday, 16th January 2004

New striker
Gresley Rovers have this morning completed a deal to bring 19-year-old Stoke City forward Laurence Hall to the Moat Ground initially on a one month loan deal.
Laurence is a 6 ft strong athletic striker who has shown his goal scoring capabilities in both the academy and reserve sides at Stoke. He made his 1st team debut against Blackpool in the LDV Vans trophy in October 2001.

Stoke have high hopes for him and as he continues to develop physically will begin to put more pressure on the senior strikers at the club. A good finisher, he was leading scorer for the academy last season and also weighed in with several goals for the Reserves.

Gary Norton was delighted with the deal and paid special praise to assistant manager Alan Titterton: "Alan, Steve and I have been very busy this week trying to bring a striker in of top quality.

"It would have been very easy to sign a player of mediocrity but what would have been the point in that. If this club is serious about going for a top seven spot then these are the caliber of players that we need.

"Losing Shaun Harrad was a big blow for us, but we move on and hopefully Laurence will enjoy his time with us and prove to be as influential as Shaun in our push towards our desired target.

"Big thanks must go to Alan, who has done a lot of spadework for me this week. He sorted the deal for me and he went over this morning to meet Laurence and John Rudge, Stoke's director of football, to complete the paperwork".

Laurence will go straight into the squad that travels to Cirencester.

Norton is also in discussions with a Conference club about the possibility of bringing another player to the Moat Ground, in a deal that will last to the end of the season. It was thought the player concerned may need an operation on his ankle, but scans have revealed that not to be the case. Discussions are ongoing and Gary is hopeful that the deal will be concluded within the next fortnight.
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