The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 29th July 2012
.....confident of holding on to influential defender Tony Rendell, despite interest from NPL Premier Division new boys Witton Albion.
Lawson revealed that Witton, promoted from the First Division North via the play-offs in May, had placed seven days’ notice for the former Prescot Cables man.
But after conversations between player and manager, Lawson says the highly-rated Rendell insists he has no intention of following in the footsteps of last season’s top scorer Shaun Tuck by quitting Skem.
Lawson told the Skelmersdale Advertiser: "Tony has assured me that he loves it at Skem and that he doesn’t want to leave. That is great for us as he’s an important player.
"We never want to lose any player, especially having already lost ‘Tucker’ this summer. But I had a real good conversation with Tony, and he was adamant that he doesn’t want to go, even if the money on offer at Witton is more. That’s great news."
Lawson’s men continued their pre-season campaign with an impressive 2-1 win over Blue Square Bet Premier side Southport at the West Lancashire College Stadium on Tuesday.
Having seen Rob McIntosh’s first half strike swiftly cancelled out by Southport talisman Tony Gray, Skem clinched the victory – their second in two seasons against the Sandgrounders – thanks to Martin Crowder’s 61st minute free-kick.
"It was a good workout for both sides," Lawson told the local paper afterwards.
"I think we blew away a lot of the cobwebs in the first couple of games, which is what pre-season is all about.
"But there was a bit of shape on Tuesday, we had a bit more speed and intensity about us and there were marked improvements in most players."
Lawson also revealed he's released five triallists from the club this week, as he looks to trim his squad ahead of the new season, but says he has set his sights on securing two new additions over the coming week.
He's already signed ex-Runcorn Linnets man Gaz Peate and Danny Norris, formerly with Burscough, who he says have impressed in training during pre-season.
"Gaz has been on and off with us for a few years," he said. "He’s had a lot of injuries, but he has a lot of talent. He will challenge if he stays fit.
"Danny is a versatile attacker, a young Skem-based lad who did well for Burscough at the back-end of last season. He has something about him."
Lawson added: "We also have Josh Hine back with us at the moment, which is a boost."