Simms set for return to Hucknall?

FOOTBALL South Normanton V Arnold Town. Pictured for SN is Sam Simms.

Former Hucknall Town midfielder Sam Simms looks set to rejoin the club from South Normanton Athletic.

The title-chasing Yellows had been rocked by the long-term loss of midfield pair Michael Bannister (broken leg) and Sam Hawkins (cruciate ligament), so the return of 26-year-old Simms is a huge boost.

“It still needs to be rubber-stumped, but all being well Sam Simms will sign for us from South Normanton,” said manager Andy Graves.

“We put seven days in for him and he expressed an interest.

“Sam was with me when we first started at Hucknall and proved to be a really good left-sided midfield player.

“He came up with a few goals as well and obviously caught the attention of clubs higher up. He wanted to play at a higher level so we let him go.

“It’s been no secret that I wanted him back. I tried at the beginning of this season, but he wanted to stay and try to play two levels higher.”

Graves continued: “Circumstances have now dictated that I needed a midfielder player with Banno’s injury. I spoke to Sam and he said he wanted to sign for us, so I was more than happy.

“If all goes well he will make his ‘debut’ for us on Saturday at Teversal, weather permitting.

“He is technically very good and he is something different to Michael Bannister. I am pleased to get him.”

However, Hucknall are still hunting for a new striker with players wanting ‘stupid money’.

“We have had no luck. We are still looking – it’s like a stuck record,” said Graves.

“The money players want is stupid. Realistically of the four teams up there we have got the lowest of any rumoured budget – I can assure you of that.

“We haven’t given up hope and we do have something in the pipeline. We are trying and we have an eye on someone.

“Unfortunately our reserve game got called off on Saturday, so I couldn’t really see him play.”

After almost three weeks without a game, Graves was upset to see last weekend’s home reserves match called off, which ruined his plan to get some of his rusty first teamers some action.

“I don’t know why the reserve game got called off last Saturday – it was absolutely ridiculous to be honest. The pitch was perfectly playable,” he said.

“Both teams had turned up. They had come all the way from Cromford and wanted to play the game as we did. We had already trained a bit and some of the first team lads were going to play.

“There was no standing water. It was a bit squelchy in the middle where there was no grass. But on what we have played on of late our groundsman had done a fantastic job.

“But the referee determined it was unplayable. Maybe he should have gone on with some studs instead of his normal flat shoes!”

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