THE NUCLEUS of Hucknall Town’s squad for the coming season earned their spurs at manager Brett Marshall’s former club, Retford United, the Dispatch can reveal this week.
For The Yellows’ new manager has already raided The Badgers for no less than 11 of the players he has already signed at Watnall Road during the off-season.
So far he has secured the services of 16 players and says he is likely to have a playing squad of around 22 once the first competitive league match of the season kicks off on Saturday August 18.
What’s more, the 43-year-old says he is happy with the way his summer transfer dealings have gone so far.
“I know where I want to strengthen and that is what I’m doing,” said Marshall. “I want players here who are hungry to make a mark at this level of football.”
Many of the players Marshall has already signed featured in the club’s first two pre-season friendlies — at home to Lincoln City and in the local derby with Linby Colliery Welfare.
The ex-Retford players hoping to make a mark with Town are: Jason Fisher (goalkeeper), Chris Baugh (right-back), Danny Hayes (centre-back), Corey Nightingale (centre-back), Robert Austin (full-back), Jamie Brown (winger), Steve Carty (central midfield), Warren Hatfield (midfield), Carl Haslam (striker) and Carl Snowden (striker).
Other players already committed are: goalkeeper Hadlee Dunn, who was at Watnall Road last season, left-back James Leggitt, who has arrived from Arnold Town, Joel Goodacre, who was at Hucknall last term, winger Scott Wilby, who arrives from Sussex, striker Karl Slack and another forward, Julian Topliss, who was at Shirebrook Town last season.
Former Forest youngster Theo Ganderson (striker), central-midfielder Liam Garner, from Arnold Town, and full-back Rob Palin, from Rainworth Miners Welfare, were also expected to commit before the Dispatch went to press.
Marshall has also issued a fresh appeal to Town supporters to get behind him and the players — and buy into what they are trying to achieve at the club.
The gaffer wants to get the ball down and play an attractive style to win back fans who have left Watnall Road in recent years.
He said: “It’s not my fault or the players’ fault what has gone on in the past.
“As football fans, all the supporters should be bothered about is paying their entry fee and supporting local players.”