The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 22nd June 2012
....two weeks as ‘the busiest time of the season’ as, while supporters ache for their Saturday’s to be refilled with non-League football, the hard-working manager exhausts every avenue to secure the right players for his squad.
The continued recruitment drive at the club has seen midfielder Phil Clarke make a welcome return to Keys Park, after re-signing from Burscough this week, but Smith has stressed how this time of year is far from holiday season.
“I must have clocked up thousands of miles and had over twenty meetings with players, as I’m sure all managers have. This is the busiest time of the season for me, it can be very draining at times but we must be patient to get the right players in.”
On Clarke, a lively midfielder who played a handful of games for the Pitmen last season, Smith says he saw the signing as an easy decision after securing no less than three players from the North West who can assist with his travel arrangements.
“Phil is a player I rate very highly and I did not want to see him go last season but he does not drive and catching numerous trains three times a week just became too much. Now he can get lifts with the other lads so it was a no brainer to me.”
Pre-season training begins on July 1st and Smith stated he has plans in place to ensure his squad are fit for Hednesford’s opening friendly versus AFC Wulfrunians on Tuesday, 10th July and confirmed there would be more additions to the squad before, and after that point.
“We have four sessions of very intense physical work before the games start and I am hoping to have one or two new faces in by then but we are in no rush.
“We have still got plenty of time until kick off and we will keep something spare in case someone comes along.”