Hucknall Town delighted to welcome back missing key trio

Hucknall Town are delighted to be welcoming back three of their key players at last and boss Andy Graves said that means competition for places will increase.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 3:49 pm
Joe Ashurst - back from European jaunt and ready to return.

The Yellows have been without Grant Ryan (suspension), Joe Ashurst (away touring Europe) and Joey Butler (broken leg).

But all three are now back to bolster the first team and Graves said: “We have been missing these three key players.

“I think we have now rode out that storm with not having those quality players available.

“It's been a squad game so credit to the lads that have come in and stepped up. We now need the other who we know what we can do to step up too now.”

He continued: “We now have Grant Ryan back after finishing serving his suspension. We have not had him for the first nine games.

“We only knew about it a week before the season started so it wasn't very helpful.

“We were building things around him and Craig Westcarr and they had just formed a good partnership in pre-season with lots of goals and assists.

“Grant played his first game for the reserves last night and scored a hat-trick.

“I think he was our top scorer last season, but he also played for a Sunday side and got a silly sending-off and suspension right at the end of the lockdown season when Sunday sides continued playing, and that has now hindered us on a Saturday.

“The Sunday side only started playing a few weeks ago and we have had to wait for him to serve the ban playing on a Sunday which has impacted us.”

Joe Ashurst is expected to start on Saturday after a couple of games back. “He went on a European motorbike trip about three months – he missed all of pre-season,” said Graves.

“He came off the bench on Saturday and scored. He looks like he has come back hungry and it's like signing a new player for us. He will give us another dimension we have probably been missing.”

Next to return should be Butler, Graves saying: “Joey is back playing for the reserves now. He didn't play last night as he still felt a little bit but he won't be too far away from knocking on the door for a place. So we will have plenty of competition.”