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Story posted: Tuesday, 10th July 2001

Knitters swoop to get their Coates
Story courtesy of
Gresley Rovers boss John McGinlay is again stepping up his search for players after key midfielder Steve Coates agreed to join last season's Western Division champions Hinckley United.
Coates, one of the club's most consistent players last season, becomes the fourth first team player to leave Rovers during the summer following the departures of Matt Warren, Neil Broadhurst and Simon Tucker.

McGinlay, whose side began pre-season training on Saturday, will now look to make more signings before the start of the season.

The Moat boss was disappointed by the timing of Coates' defection to the Knitters, saying "We are disappointed, obviously, to lose Steve as he was one of our main players.

"It is also a blow to lose him at this stage. If he was going to go I wish he would have said at the end of the season as now it is a bit late to do something regarding bringing in a replacement.

"Having said that we wish him the best of luck and always said we would not stand in his way if he wanted to move to a higher level."

McGinlay revealed he had a number of trailists training with the club and a few options in terms of a replacement.

"it now leaves the door open for someone else and there are a number of players training with us who may fit the bill," said the Moat boss.

"There are also players who I have already spoken to about a move and if I can get one or two more in then I will be happy.

"At training on Saturday we had 59 players in all, so that will have to be trimmed down a bit."

Rovers begin their pre-season programme on Saturday, July 21, when a first team and reserve side both travel to take on North West Lancs side Eagley Sports.

The Moatmen are at home to Notts County and West Brom in the Bass Vase on July 25 and 30 respectively, before visiting Hucknall Town on Saturday, August 4.

There are then some home games against Hednesford Town on August 8, Tamworth on August 11 and Congleton on August 14.
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  Team P GD Pts
12 Peterborough Sports 42 -8 51
13 Spalding United 42 -10 50
14 Loughborough Dynamo 42 -17 49
15 Sheffield FC 42 -19 45
16 Belper Town 42 -44 45
17 Gresley 42 -42 43
18 Kidsgrove Athletic 42 -20 42
19 Carlton Town 42 -10 41
20 Newcastle Town 42 -24 39
21 Market Drayton Town 42 -46 39
22 Romulus 42 -37 35

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