Stockport Sports – formerly known as Woodley Sports – have announced three major signings on contract terms….
…..ahead of the 2012/13 North West Counties League Premier Division season.
The first of the signings is striker John Marsden, a player who had featured for the club under their previous name last season.
Marsden is highly-rated by everyone at Stockport Sports and all at the club are excited that he has agreed to put pen-to-paper on a new deal.
Chairman John Hindley expressed his delight following Marsden signing his contract: “Marso was brilliant last season, great attitude, great work ethic and a great finisher. The board were determined to keep him at the club, and we are delighted he has signed contractual terms.”
Marsden’s record is second to none – his goal ratio for Liverpool Boys bettering that of Wayne Rooney among others.
He was plucked from junior football by Glasgow Celtic and moved north of the border to further his career. He suffered with injuries during his spell at Celtic and it was a move that didn’t really work out for him due to lack of opportunities. However, Stockport Sports now offer him the opportunity to get his career firmly back on track.
Under The Saxons new manager, former England international Peter Withe, Marsden will be given the opportunity to train full-time which should see him shine at this level, and he is excited at the prospect;
“The opportunity to train and play full-time is essential for me,” he said. “I need to be training full-time in order to maintain the highest fitness levels and to give me the platform to play at the highest possible level.
“Training with Peter Withe has been absolutely first class, and his knowledge of the game is simply outstanding. He has played and managed at the highest level, his experience is unbelievable”.
Withe too is delighted by the confirmation of Marsden’s signing: “Every team at every level of the game needs a first class striker. I have worked with John for the past three weeks and his attitude and performance in training has been top notch. He’s a real football person, he just wants to train and better himself. He listens to everything that’s said and then works on that.
“As a former professional forward myself, I am able to offer John advice that maybe others can’t. He has great pedigree – he was plucked from Liverpool at 16 to play professional football with a giant of British football in Glasgow Celtic! His goalscoring record for Liverpool Boys is up there with the Robbie Fowler’s and Wayne Rooney’s – his ratio of goals to games at that level is unbelievable.
“I am extremely confident with my coaching that John’s game will improve even further, and we have a real diamond. People sometimes think strikers are all about goals, but with John his work rate is brilliant also. I am very, very pleased we have secured his services.”
Ricky Anane, a former professional with Bury, is the second of the players to commit to contract terms at the club.
Like Marsden, Anane appeared at Stockport Sports Village last season and the confirmation that he has agreed to extend his stay is great news for the club.
Anane had no shortage of offers for his services ahead of the new season and it is great news that the club has managed to secure his services.
Anane is excited at the prospect of working under Peter Withe and is fully aware of the ambitions and the prospects the club can offer: “I have had a number of clubs chasing me throughout the summer, but all these clubs can offer is training two nights a week. I need more than that if I am to progress. I have trained with Stockport under Peter for the last few weeks and I am learning and developing all the time.”
Anane has featured in around eighty games at Conference level for his previous clubs Woking and Droylsden and represents another tremendous signing for The Saxons.
Withe is equally delighted by the club clinching this signing: “Ricky has been an ever-present at training over the past three weeks. He turns up daily with the same hunger and attitude. He is lightning quick, has great awareness and can beat players at will. Whether he plays at right-back or elsewhere in the team will be determined over the next few weeks, but wherever he plays I am sure we have a very talented player on our hands.”
The third player to agree contract terms is Raphale Evans, who ended last season as the captain of the club under its previous guise.
Evans has featured in League football for Rochdale, making his debut for them at the age of 18. Both Withe and chairman John Hindley are delighted that Evans has committed his immediate future to the club.
After a busy day of negotiations following The Saxons 1-1 draw with Llandraeder FC, Hindley was thrilled to confirm the signing of Evans: “Since he came into the club, Raph has been outstanding both on and off the pitch. He’s a leader, a real leader. He commands the dressing room, he ensures the players are switched on and ready to go, whether that be in training, a friendly or in a match scenario. He is a real winner. His physical presence is immense – he talks to those around him throughout every game and is a very determined character.”
Evans himself is also excited to commit to the club ahead of the new season: “As with Ricky Anane, a number of clubs have been ringing me. I’ve been offered opportunities to go and play at a higher level etc., but all these clubs can only offer me two hours training twice a week. A Tuesday and Thursday night training session, if no game on a Tuesday, is not going to improve anybody’s fitness or ability. I am able to train full-time here at Stockport, and under the Gaffer, Peter Withe, the training is second to none. He is a Pro-Licensed coach/manager and he has played and managed at the highest possible level.
“All the sessions we have done are excellent, almost every session over a three week period has been unique. I am developing under Peter much quicker than I have for years elsewhere.
“I seriously cannot wait for the season to start. We have some very talented players here, some have signed contracts, and others are lined up for the next week or so. I am confident we can secure some more key signings in the next few days, as we really start to get stuck in to our pre-season programme.”
Evans has also made an impression on With, and he clearly rates him highly: “Raph is a beast of a player – he is huge in stature and in character. I have been impressed by his physique and physical ability. He is quick for a big man. Another quality of Raph’s is the way he talks to the other squad players. He has presence, he has experience, and the other lads respond to him.”
These signings represent a statement of intent for the newly-named Stockport Sports FC, and the addition of players of that quality suggests that they fully intend to challenge at the top end of the North West Counties League Premier Division with the intention of gaining promotion back to the Evo-Stick Northern Premeir League.