Three key members of last season’s playing squad have agreed to stay on at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North club Northwich Victoria for the new season.
Striker Richie Bennett 23, midfielder or forward Abou Sanogo 20, and central midfielder and England Futsal international Stuart Cook, 29, have all agreed terms to extend their stay.
The club made significant progress last season and are looking to build upon the massive strides forward by again mounting a promotion push once the club return to Northwich.
Bennett said: “I am very pleased to sign for another year with Vics’. I felt that my game developed immensely last season under Jim Gannon`s guidance, and of course we had a couple of great runs in the cups and also finished well in the league.
“I have been made to feel very welcome by all at the club since joining last December which was a big factor in me re-signing. I am really looking forward to a full season with the Vics’ back where they belong in Northwich and hope to use the disappointment of losing in the play-offs to further motivate me and repay some of the faith that the manager and staff have shown in me to get the club promoted.
“I have a good feeling about the season ahead and I have been training hard over the close season to ensure the club and the supporters can see the best of me in 2015/16.”
Sanogo said: “I am very happy to stay at Vics’ again. I have enjoyed my time here the last two years and hope we can take a final step in the next season to get promotion to the Premier league.
“It was a bit of a stop-start season for me last campaign, with niggling injuries, and not playing very well – but I found some good form in the latter stages as the season drew to a close.”
Cook said: “Obviously it was a disappointing end to the campaign losing out in the play-off as we did. But – as a squad and as a club – we had a good season reaching the promotion play-off series and reaching two cup finals, winning one of those. I think we surpassed expectation from the beginning of the year.
“Looking forward to next season there will now be a little added pressure coming off the back of last season’s performance. We have obviously lost a few key players with Gary Burnett, Tim Deasy and Danny Meadowcroft moving on, but Jim Gannon is working hard to find adequate replacements and there is no reason why we can’t fight for a play-off spot again and maybe a title push.
“I can’t say I`m looking forward to pre-season as I’m not a big fan of running! But once the footballs are out I might make an appearance!
“I think being back in Northwich will be great for the Football Club and will hopefully bring even more fans back, who were so vocal at the play-off defeat away to Bamber Bridge.”