The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 5th July 2012
.....arrived at the Evo-Stik Northern Premire League First Division South club.
The Scholars returned to pre-season training this week and have registered sixteen players so far with the Northern Premier League.
Matt Johnson, 31, has joined after a year at league rivals Market Drayton Town and previously played over 100 games at the level with Leek Town.
The utility man follows midfielder David Bate, who has followed Harris to the Scholars Ground after being his captain at Baker Joiner Midland Alliance side Tipton Town last season.
Bate steps up a league in the process with forwards Nick Wellecomme, Gary Hay and Matthew Jukes the other faces in the squad.
Harris has also confirmed eight more members of last season’s squad are staying put, but Jimmy Turner’s future is still up in the air.
However, captain Richard Teesdale, Chris Slater, Mark Branch, Mark Hands, Scott Lycett, Lee Wright and Anthony Maguire have all re-signed.
Goalkeepers Ryan Price, Lee Evans and Polish prospect Mariusz Kiesel – who has put pen to paper on league forms – were already confirmed.
Former Exeter and Oxford United defender Jon Richardson has also signed as a player for next season, alongside his role with the club’s academy.
Player of the year Turner reported back with the squad on Sunday but has also been training with Stafford Rangers, although he hasn’t committed.
Harris, who arrived to replace Chris Brindley as manager in May, also has a number of triallists spending pre-season with the club.
He said: “We are still having a look for players and waiting on an answer from a few, but I was pleased with the turnout.
“There are lads who we have got in and around us as well, not on trial as such but we are looking at them closely.
“We want to keep them under wraps, as we have not sorted out anything out with these lads as yet.”
The Scholars boss put his players through their paces again on Tuesday night and will again tonight before a second Sunday session.
The squad are back in next Tuesday and Thursday before their first pre-season friendly, at Sporting Khalsa a week on Saturday.
The club’s double-winning reserve side has also been involved with the first-team for the start of pre-season.
Harris said: “We will have had six training sessions by the time we get to Sporting Khalsa and we have just started blowing the cobwebs off.
“The lads tend to report back quite fit anyway, nowadays, they look after themselves during the summer.
“I have been really pleased with them and we trained as a club in the first session, with the reserves as well.
“With both squads, there was over forty players, it’s a nice number and we will always warm up together.”