Hucknall playing return for former manager?

Gary Sucharewycz.
Gary Sucharewycz.

Former Hucknall Town manager and player Gary Sucharewycz could be back at the club in the centre of defence this season as the Yellows look to replace injured skipper Joe Atkinson.

Sucharewycz played in Tuesday night’s fine 3-0 opening pre-season friendly win against Kimberley MW and, although now 36, manager Andy Graves believes he could be the perfect fit with his experience.

“Gary – nicknamed Scrabble – played a bit last night and I think he was surprised at the quality. He will get himself fit over the next month or so and could add a bit of experience to us as well,” said Graves.

“He is 36 now – the same age as my skipper, who broke his shin.

“He was the manager here one before I took over. He managed Rainworth, Grantham and Long Eaton since then but still thinks he can do a bit.

“He rang me a few times last season to see if I needed any help but I did tell him we had the best two centre halves in the league!

“But obviously Joe is injured now, so I dropped him a text to see if he was still interested.

“Hopefully he was pleasantly surprised at the quality last night.

“He lasted half an hour before he went down heavily on his calf on a rock half pitch so we just took him off as a precaution.”

Hucknall also have a new goalkeeper, brought in to offer competition to Mike Randall, though Graves would like to play both with Randall also seen as a decent right back.

“We have signed goalkeeper Adam Jablonski from Swanwick Pentrich Road, who we have always regarded highly when we’ve played against him over the seasons,” said Graves.

“He also played at Belper Town and I know a lot of supporters highly rate him as well.

“He played against Kimberley, though he will rotate with Mike (Randall), who was our keeper last year.

“Mike played right back for me last night and did really well and it’s just a matter of convincing him he could do us a really good job there too.

“He swept the board for rewards for playing outfield for the Hucknall Town Sunday side.

“We want him to stay with us and this is an opportunity for him to stay in the team as a solid right back, but time will tell.”

Goals from Adam Nelson (16), Jordan Phillips (57) and a screamer from Jack Smith on 80 minutes saw Hucknall convincingly beat Kimberley MW 3-0 in Tuesday’s opening friendly.

“We have quite a few new players wanting to show us what they can do – and some pretty good ones as well,” said Graves.

“We played our first pre-season game against Kimberley MW, who are a league above us, and we did well.

“I know you don’t get three points for pre-season games but it was a good performance and some of the new lads showed what they could add to us next year.

“It is encouraging as I still have about eight others to come back who were with me last year and still to look at another couple of trialists as well.

“But they have to buy into the squad mentality. We are not going to do do it with the same squad every week.”

Graves will take a small squad to Redcar for Saturday’s friendly, including one or two trialists. A couple of last season’s regulars who can’t make Redcar will play for the reserves against Eastwood.

Then Hucknall have home friendlies with AFC Mansfield on Tuesday and then Clipstone on Thursday

Hucknall have been drawn away to AFC Borrowash Victoria in the FA Vase first qualifying round on Saturday, 1st September.

Vice-captain Dave Leake has now signed for the new season and will be club’s the new captain, taking over from Joe Atkinson.