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Story posted: Sunday, 1st July 2018

Norton Adds More To His Squad
Another busy week has seen a few more players added to the Gresley squad including some local young talent.
Former Gresley striker Alex Steadman has returned to the club together with highly rated utility player and former Belper Town player of the year Dominic Allen.

Steadman scored 42 goals in 94 previous appearances for the club including 28 goals in the 2014/15 season. He has previously played for Mickleover Sports, Chasetown, an Stafford Rangers before joining Gresley last time round. It was in October 2015 he left to join Belper Town and now he makes his return to the Moat Ground.

Dominic Allen also played for Belper Town last season where he had been playing since November 2015 and previously played for Burton Albion where he captained the clubs youth team before moving to Mickleover Sports in December 2012.

After brief spell at Station Road, he played briefly for Borrowash Victoria before moving to Eastwood Town in March 2013. Dominic then signed for Stafford Rangers and Long Eaton United before joining Belper Town where he has spent the last couple of seasons.

Following these two latest additions manager Gary Norton explained his logic behind the signings he has made to date.

He commented: “As I said at our fans forum a few weeks back, we want to try and ensure the cream of our local talent is given an opportunity to make it at this level and that’s still very much the aim.

"I’ve heard a few whispers this week that given the signings to date have been experienced players at this level we may be moving away from what we said about giving some of our younger lads an opportunity. This just isn’t the case. The facts are that if we filled the whole squad full of local young lads or players from our reserve or U18 teams then without doubt we would really struggle at this level.

"We saw that against Stamford and Market Drayton to a certain extent at the end of last season. For that reason we set out to sign a target of around eight experienced players before we returned to pre-season training this weekend. Our hope was that most of those players would be from locations within a 10-15 mile radius and aside from one (Dexter Morris Clarke - Birmingham) that’s happened.

"In one or our first meetings in the summer as a management team we wrote a list of ten potential players we wanted to try and sign for the coming season who fitted the criteria we were looking for. Of those 10 players we hoped to sign 6 or 7 of those and then when you added in Jamie Barrett to that plus Carl Slater that would have given us our target. The fact is that we have been very successful in our discussions and so far nine of the ten players we have had meetings with over the last few weeks have signed for the club with the tenth still a real possibility.

"None of us expected that sort of conversion rate but for me it’s another sign of the perception and feeling around the club in the close season and speaks volumes for the vibe and air of positivity around the place once more.

"Now we have that experienced core in place we have this week turned our attentions to some of our young/local lads and started to have discussions with those we have already made our minds up on this week. More discussions will happen over the next week or two but so far we have signed Kane Lee, Jake Macintosh and Albert Lansdowne who are all great prospects without doubt. Unfortunately, one of our local targets will not be playing for Gresley next season after Callum Riddell confirmed he isn’t available to play Saturday football this season".

Norton added: “from last season’s reserve team/U18 sides and in particular those who played in the last few games of the season there are a few other lads we are keeping a very close eye on with a view to some being part of our plans. They will all train with the first team in pre-season and many will play in some of the upcoming friendly games.

"I can confirm that some are definitely in our plans but being realistic others may need to wait and develop their games a bit more before being considered for the first team squad on a regular basis. Over the last 2 seasons Gresley have spent a lot of time at the bottom end of the league table and that’s not something we are planning on doing this time round. For that reason we need to ensure a balance of experienced players who have played this level before and look to combine that with our bright young prospects from either our current Reserve/U18 teams and the local area.

"We also have a number of trialists who will be joining us at various points in pre-season for us to take a look at. If any of those will improve us as a squad then we will definitely look to try and add then to the squad ¿1/2" we would be daft not to.”
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
6 Brighouse Town 7 3 11
7 Stamford AFC 7 2 11
8 Lincoln United 8 2 10
9 Sheffield FC 7 0 10
10 AFC Mansfield 6 -1 10
11 Gresley 8 -4 10
12 Stocksbridge Park Steels 8 -6 10
13 Tadcaster Albion 7 -1 9
14 Loughborough Dynamo 7 1 8
15 Wisbech Town 6 -1 8
16 Belper Town 7 -4 8

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Forthcoming Fixtures
Carlton Town
League
Wed, 26th Sep 2018, 7.45pm (Away)
Frickley Athletic
League
Sat, 29th Sep 2018, 3.00pm (Home)
Stamford AFC
League
Tue, 2nd Oct 2018, 7.45pm (Home)
Pickering Town
League
Sat, 6th Oct 2018, 3.00pm (Away)
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