Gainsborough Trinity manager Dave Frecklington wasted little time in unveiling more new signings to bolster his side that avoided relegation from the Vanarama National League North on a dramatic final day.
The Blues’ boss has strengthened his midfield and attacking options with the latest three captures.
Craig King a forward, who can play anywhere across the front line, signs from league rivals Salford City.
The second addition is that of Shane Clarke, the midfielder who returns to the club for a second spell, arriving from Lincolnshire rivals Boston United, and the third is another striker in Brad Wells.
Both players bring a wealth of National League North experience, which will be vital as Gainsborough look to improve on their nineteenth-placed finish and King is eager to get started.
“I’m happy to be signing for Gainsborough and am really looking forward to showing what I can do and to start another chapter in my career.”
Prior to signing for Salford, King won the player of the year award at Bradford Park Avenue and he is no stranger to Freckkington, who said: “Craig is a player I’ve seen progress up the ladder since having him at Worksop Town, where I was his assistant-manager. He’s a work horse who possesses great skills and his awareness is right up there with the best in the league. He’s a player who’s used to winning football matches at Salford City and to get him to
Gainsborough is a fantastic coup.”
Frecklington continued: “He’s now coming into his best years as a player with good experience at this level. Our relationship has been key in him coming to the football club and his character fits the bill in my changing room, but more importantly he’s a winner and a team player, which I’m sure will go down well with all the Trinity supporters. I can’t wait to get working with him again.”
The arrival of 29-year-old midfielder Shane Clarke at the Martin & Co Arena for a second spell is also a signing Frecklington is delighted to announce: “Shane’s been on my radar since I took over at Gainsborough. I’ve been a long-term admirer of his play and his leadership qualities are of the highest level.
“At 29 I believe his best years are coming up and he adds invaluable experience to this young group. Shane is another born winner and his physicality will be a major asset to our midfield department.”
Having previously spent two years at Gainsborough, the midfielder also has National League North experience at Tamworth where he hit 7 goals from midfield in a prolific season.
Having started his career in the league, at Sincil Bank, the former Imp will be a vital addition to the Trinity squad.
A Lincolnshire-based Physical Training Instructor, away from the game, Frecklington pointed out: “He’s a fit boy and another local lad with a point to prove after a difficult season at Boston United, but more importantly he is another great character to have around the changing room and is someone who will be a major asset us this season.”
On signing on the dotted line, the all-action midfielder proclaimed: “I’m really excited to be re-joining Trinity. I had two enjoyable seasons last time around and I’m hoping for more of the same really. It wasn’t a hard decision at all, regardless of other offers. Dave Frecklington is a manager I want to play for and hopefully I can chip in with a few goals from midfield and surprise a lot of people by exceeding last year’s league table finish!”
Wells is a striker who netted 30 times last season and bagged a spot in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division South Team of the Year!
Frecklinton added: “I am delighted to get Brad on board! He deserves this opportunity having been unplayable at times last season for me at Spalding and bagging thirty goals in the process! He won his place in the team of the year and has a fantastic work ethic. He’s different to Jarmo (Nathan Jarman) which is important! He loves to run in behind and cause defenders problems.
“He’s a proper number nine, 6`3″ and hungry to play as high as he can. I’m sure he’ll be a hit! So many strikers have stepped up from the Evo-Stik and gone on to have great careers in the game and we have managed to fight off other interest from National League clubs to land his signature.”
A converted winger, converted to a striker last pre-season after Frecklington rescued him from an unsettled pre-season at Stamford, 26-year-old Wells hasn’t looked back, with signing for Gainsborough, “A no brainer!”
The front man spoke of his surprise to hitting as many goals as he did last time out, but backs himself as he hopes to continue proving to himself and others that he can mix it at the higher level. “Up until last season, I was a winger, but the manager got in touch and told me he wanted to be his number nine and since then I have proved to myself and everyone else that I am a goal scorer. It’s now about stepping up and testing myself at National League North level.”
With a blueprint like Jamie Vardy never far away when it comes to goal scorers, it was little surprise for forward to liken himself to the Leicester and England man. “I have watched endless videos of Vardy, how he plays, how he looks to get in behind. His work rate. If I am working hard for ninety minutes, running all day and showing desire, I’m sure the supporters will appreciate what I am bringing to the team and I know it will ask questions of the opposition.”
Despite a jump of two divisions, Wells is unperturbed: “Ricky Miller started out at the likes of Stamford and Spalding – and went on to play for Boston and Dover, before landing a professional contract at Peterborough, and there’s no reason why I can’t do the same. You have to have those aspirations. I am going into this with no fear. I have no preconceptions. I am confident – and at 26 – I think there is better still to come!”
For someone who has moved through the leagues with minimal fuss, from Sunday morning parks football, to his first break in Saturday football at Ollerton Town, his local side – Wells has had an impact.
They join Trinity`s two earlier recruits in Jonathan Wafula and Ellis Storey.
Meanwhile, Jack McGovern and Cecil Nyoni have agreed terms to stay at the club for next season.
Frecklington added: “I`m really pleased as both were superb in the great escape and deserve a crack at a full pre-season to compete for a place in the team. Cecil along with Shane brings us some real physicality and aggression and Jack adds quality and loves to get forward, his energy is a real asset to the group and has an eye for scoring important goals”.