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Story posted: Wednesday, 29th June 1988

Gresley snap up midfielders
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Gresley Rovers have turned to the club they beat on penalties in last season’s Derbyshire Senior Cup final to continue their close season rebuilding operation.
Manager Frank Northwood has raided Northern Premier Leaguers Alfreton Town to lure midfield duo Richard Denby and Colin Thacker to the Moat Ground.

Northwood said last night: “I had a good look a both players in the two games against Alfreton and I liked what I saw. I’m confident they’ll prove to be good signings.”

The signing of 24-year-old Thacker, former Chesterfield player, is regarded as a real coup by Northwood.

“Mansfield wanted him to join them, but he’s decided to stay in non-league football. He’s a talented lad and I’m delighted we’re the club to have landed him,” said the Gresley boss.

Northwood could turn to old favourite Dave Butler to fill one of the gaps left in attack by Martin Devaney’s move to Tamworth and Keith Hill’s switch to Stourbridge.

Butler, who gained League experience with Wolves and Torquay United, has had two spells at Gresley, but each time he left under a cloud after being accused by Northwood of a lack of fitness.

Northwood explained: “Dave was a real favourite with the fans and in my opinion is a better player than Devaney because he score more goals. Fitness, however, has always been a problem with him. Now he feels that he’s in danger of letting football pass him by. I’ve thrown a challenge out to him to get himself in shape.

“He’s already working hard with our coach Phil Marandola and if he keeps up the good work he’s capable of doing the business for us.”
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14 Loughborough Dynamo 42 -17 49
15 Sheffield FC 42 -19 45
16 Belper Town 42 -44 45
17 Gresley 42 -42 43
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21 Market Drayton Town 42 -46 39
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