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Ball Boost for Town

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Hucknall Town’s player of the year, Martin Ball, has given the club relegated from the Evo-Stik League Premier….

….Division a significant boost by assuring them he is keen to stay.

The Yellows had feared losing the central defender, with the likes of Worksop Town and Chasetown circling.

But assistant-manager Gary Stones says Ball has now given his word he wants to remain at Watnall Road and help mount a promotion charge.

Players are unable to sign on the dotted line as yet in the Evo-Stik League because the registration forms are not available until the end of June.

“Martin has indicated he wants to stay with us, even though there are other clubs who have made him offers,” said Stones.

“I think he feels he owes us and it’s not just him that feels that way.

“The players know it was their performances, as well as the management decisions, that saw us go down.

“We all want to take some responsibility and make up for that.

“They know if they want to play against better teams and at better grounds again, then it is up to them to go and win promotion.

“It’s a pleasing decision from Martin because he really stepped up last season and did extremely well.

“He’s been with us since he was 16, apart from a brief spell and Shepshed Dynamo, and he knows how we work.”

But the club are likely to lose four other players from last season’s squad, according to Stones.

Grant Brindley, Tristram Whitman, Fabian Smith and TJ Nightingale have all indicated they are looking for pastures new.

He said: “There are rumours that Grant has gone to Grantham Town and I don’t think Tris is interested in re-signing for us and is looking for another club.

“Fabian has indicated he wants to stay in the higher league and the same applies to TJ, so we are losing a few.

“But that is the way it has to be and we are just pleased a good chunk of the players have responded positively to what we have offered.”

The Yellows have appointed two more to their coaching staff.

UEFA `B` licence-qualified Tony Taylor is the new coach, following the departure of Jamie Brough to become joint-manager at Eastwood Town, while Mark Harvey is goalkeeping coach.

“Tony has coached at Matlock Town and Mickleover Sports in between getting his badge and is now pushing to do the `A` licence,” said Stones.

“It is his first move into a permanent coaching role, but he comes well prepared and we’re looking forward to working with him.

“Mark is well-known on the local scene having played with Sandiacre and Long Eaton and he can still play now if necessary.

“He has taken a year out of the game but was still coming to watch his son play for our AFC side and feels now is the right time to get back into it.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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