The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 28th July 2012
.....summer signings quota from five to seven after finally revealing the names of two mystery players he's offered deals to.
To head off interest from other clubs, the cautious Gladiators manager kept the duo's identities secret until after Tuesday's 5-1 home defeat by Chesterfield in the Banner Jones Cup.
Having previously referred to the potential newcomers only as 'triallists', secretative Atkins named the pair as former Doncaster Rovers and Forest Green Rovers midfielder Martin Foster and much-travelled winger Ryan Hindley.
Hindley, formerly with Ilkeston Town, Alfreton Town, Belper Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels, Worksop Town and Retford United, gave the Gladiators the lead inside 36 seconds during the 2-1 win over Teversal and appeared from the bench in the club's following two friendlies against Shirebrook and Chesterfield.
Left-back or midfielder Phil Roe, released by Mickey Adams at Sheffield United at the end of the 2010/11 campaign and ironically signed by Adams when he switched to Port Vale last season, has featured as a substitute in all three matches.
Striker Joe Ledley hit a second half brace in the 4-0 win at Shirebrook while defender Will Dennis, like Ledley recently released by Chesterfield, has appeared in both of the last two fixtures.
Nathan Joynes and a Lee Ellington penalty added to Ledley's double at Langwith Road where Atkins thought his side did well.
He said: "We bossed the game and with Shirebrook offering more of a physical threat which gave us something different to think about.It was a good game for us. All of the goals came from strikers and we're trying to play a different style this season passing the ball about a lot more."
The boot was on the other foot against the Spireites but Atkins reckons it was the most useful of the games to date.
He explained: "At times we did okay passing the ball about quite well but when we got into attacking situations we gave the ball away far too cheaply. The defending was also slack, especially in the first half but Chesterfield are an excellent side who gave us a good test.
"It's fair to say that I learned more from this game than any other, not that we'll meet anywhere near this standard of opposition in our league. But Tuesday showed there's plenty of things for us to work on, not least our concentration which has got to be stepped up. But I am pleased with our fitness levels and work rate."