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All-Change At Market Drayton

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Carl Abbott, who recently left Midland League Division One club Hinckley AFC to take the managerial post at Evo-Stik League South outfit Mickleover Sports, has wasted little time in overhauling his squad.

Abbott has made no less that thirteen new signings to date, with the latest through the door being Aaron Cole from Mickleover Sports, Javia Roberts from Alvechurch and Peter Williams from Leek Town.

Cole joined Mickleover from Midland League Premier Division side Long Eaton United in March.

A fast and pacey winger who previously had spells with Derby County and Belper Town amongst others.

Smethwick-based Roberts has previously played for Redditch United and Rushall Olympic.

He joined Alvechurch in June, having previously played for Hinckley under Abbott.

Williams has also opted to re-join former boss Abbott at Market Drayton.

Williams joined Leek eight months ago on a dual registration basis from Hinckley and has previously been on the books of Newcastle Town, Kidsgrove Athletic and Eccleshall.

He is also a member of the British Army squad.

They join ten other recruits as Abbott looks to turn Drayton`s fortunes around.

Young left back Joe Haines lists Lichfield City and Bromsgrove Sporting amongst his former clubs.

He had a trial at Bury in 2016 as a result of his impressive performances in the Midland League catching the eye.

Brad Maslen-Jones is a 19-year-old centre-back and previously a young professional with Hull City.

Maslen-Jones joins Drayton from league rivals Spalding United, following a spell with Coalville Town in the Evo-Stik Premier.

Tall and commanding, a player who should be looking to rebuild himself and move back through the leagues.

Mitchell Evans is an 18-year-old central midfielder and another talent who arrives having been with Vanarama National League North side Kidderminster Harriers last season, featuring a number of times in the first-team at Aggborough, and notably in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup away at Blackpool.

JJ Melligan is a veteran 35-year-old midfielder who has had a stellar professional career amassing in excess of 400 League games at a number of clubs including Wolves, Doncaster Rovers, Cheltenham Town and Leyton Orient.

Still very fit, his appetite for the game remains as strong as ever.

A great influence on the younger players, and forms part of the new management team.

Jean Kalenda is a big, strong and athletic defensive midfielder who was a professional at Birmingham City.

He has good non-League experience with the likes of Stourbridge and Stratford Town, and will be a big asset to the Market Drayton squad.

Formerly with Willenhall Town, Oldbury Athletic, Cradley Town, Bromsgrove Sporting, Studley, Highgate United and Hinckley AFC, Sean Williams is an evergreen wide man who is something of a legend in Midlands non-League football.

Could and should have played at the very top levels of non-League football, and still a consistently brilliant performer.

Still possesses a great turn of pace, and capable of the spectacular.

Sean Geddes is an attacking midfielder, formerly with Stourbridge Town and Worcester City who shot to internet fame when his spectacular ‘rabona’ goal went viral worldwide in 2014.

The same season saw Geddes score two goals against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena as Worcester knocked the Sky Blues out of the competition.

A former Manchester United youth player who was a young professional at Walsall, his signing is something of a coup for Market Drayton and will no doubt raise eyebrows. A signal of intent for the future.

George Bowerman is a former professional at Walsall who became a regular in the side in League One under Dean Smith.

He scored 12 goals for Walsall in League One, picking up a young player of the month award in the process, before being signed at Accrington Stanley by James Beattie.

He has played alongside Kaka whilst on trial at MLS side Orlando City, and has non-League experience with Altrincham, AFC Telford United, Stourbridge Town, Stafford Rangers and Rushall Olympic.

Lee Butler is a ball-playing central midfielder who was Hinckley AFC captain under Abbott.

Still only 24, Butler played over 150 NPL games at Chasetown, and has also played at Step 4 with Northwich Victoria and Romulus.

A set-piece specialist who will be invaluable as Market Drayton look to employ a possession based game.

Matt Johnson played for Market Drayton three seasons ago and is a solid defender who plays with guile.

He returns to the club at an important time of the season and has lost none of the commitment for the game.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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