The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 26th December 2012
....way to join local Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South rivals Newcastle Town.
However, the former Blues’ youth team player will not be included in the Newcastle side to face Leek at Harrison Park today as the visitors are bound by red tape over the issue of seven-days notice of approach for the player.
Newcastle are not allowed to issue notice for Bridge because the twenty-eight-day period since they signed goalkeeper Steve Hodgson from Blues has yet to expire as required by FA rules.
Bridge made fifty appearances and scored just one goal since joining the club in July 2011 but managed only nine starts this season.
He began his career on the books at Manchester City and Port Vale before becoming part of Leek’s youth set-up. He left Harrison Park to join Alsager Town before linking up with Kidsgrove Athletic where he spent three seasons before signing for Leek.
When he eventually moves to Newcastle, he will meet up with former Blues’ players Mark Ruddock, Steve Hodgson, Christian Millar, Leon Ashman and Tom France as well as Castle’s management team of John Diskin, Ivan Lodge and Dave Sutton who have all starred at Harrison Park.
Meanwhile, Ross Davidson has been released to join NPL First Division North outfit New Mills which is nearer to his home and his work.
Davidson enjoyed first team experience at Port Vale where he made over twenty appearances during 2008 and 2009.
After spells on loan with Stafford Rangers and Nantwich Town, Davidson joined Hednesford Town and then had a season at Kidsgrove before joining Leek prior to the start of this season.
He made sixteen appearances in a Blues’ shirt and scored one goal in eight starts.
However, Leek boss Lee Casswell has moved to sign former Blues’ player Steve Brannan as cover in the squad.
Brannan is a no-nonsense midfielder who originally signed for Leek in October 2006 from Hednesford Town and went on to complete 134 appearances and score a dozen goals for the club.
He now rejoins the club for a third time after spells with Stafford Rangers, Biddulph Victoria and Kidsgrove.
Meanwhile, Leek will be without influential defender George Melling for a further month due to business commitments in London.
Casswell has already been without the former Kendal and Altrincham central defender throughout December and will therefore speak to Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson with a view to extending Dan Partridge’s loan for a further month.