Town turn to ex-pro

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Imperilled Hucknall Town have turned to a veteran former professional striker in their latest act of crisis management.

For Chris Freestone, who once played in an FA Cup semi-final, has made a comeback to help The Yellows.

Town are not only embroiled in another financial crisis but are also on the brink of another relegation.

Manager Darren Kelk has pieced together a makeshift side, made up mainly of unpaid youngsters, to see out the rest of a traumatic season.

But now he has some valuable experience on board in the shape of Freestone (now 41), who made nine appearances for Middlesbrough when they were in the Premier League in the 1990s.

He went on as a substitute in Boro’s 1997 cup semi replay against Chesterfield, although he didn’t figure in the squad for the Wembley final against Chelsea.

Freestone made his Yellows debut for Kelk last Saturday -- and duly helped them pick up their first point of 2013 in a 1-1 draw at home to Lincoln United (SEE PAGE 39).

“He was phenomenal,” said Kelk. “He can’t run the channels any more, but he does provide that bit of quality we have been looking for.

“You can give him the ball at his feet and he’ll hold it up all day long. He’s also great in the air and gives us the wealth of experience we have been wanting.”

It’s nine years since Freestone officially retired from senior football. But his comeback revives memories of when he started out for Arnold Town as a prolific scorer.

After leaving Middlesbrough, Freestone made more than 120 Football League appearances for Northampton Town, Hartlepool United and Shrewsbury Town.

He currently works for the FA in Notts as a leading member of their Tesco Skills coaching programme.