Worksop Town have re-signed the majority of last season’s squad, ahead of their first summer friendly against their landlords.
Tigers take on fellow Sandy Lane outfit Handsworth Parramore on Saturday, in what has become an annual fixture.
And Mark Shaw has ensured that his squad will retain a very familiar look to the one that finished runners-up in last season’s NCEL Premier.
Deputising for new signing between the sticks Jon Kennedy will be Ben Townsend, who made a couple of appearances last term.
Defenders Sam Liversidge, Phil Roe, Connor Smythe, Jack Waddle and Jono Wafula have all put pen to paper, joining captain Jake Scott and midfielders Jack Barnett, Adam Ward, James Cottingham, Tom Elliott, Conor Sellars and Steve Woolley.
Club vice captain Conor Higginson, Matt Booth and Kyle Jordan are also returning for another season, and local lad Scott Wesley who featured for Worksop Town Under 18s last season has joined the squad.
Shaw’s delighted to have them on board again, and expects more signings, including two strikers – one of them a former Doncaster Rovers prospect.
He said: “I’m really pleased, they’ve all come back in great shape, with a good mentality to work hard and they’ve used the disappointment of last year to push to the next level.
“This time last year we didn’t have anyone signed, we didn’t know if we’d have the money to sign anyone, so I’m happy to be ahead of where we were last summer, and the squad is looking strong.
“There should be another three signed on Thursday night, and we’re working on international clearance for Jordan Ball.”
Ball began his career at Nottingham Forest, before a five-year spell at Doncaster Rovers, for whom he scored in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The 21-year-old counts FC Halifax, Belper, Rainworth and Mickelover in his former clubs, and most recently played for Ånge IF in Sweden.
Shaw said: “I’m interested to see how he does in games, he’s been in Sweden where he scored a lot of goals.”
One of the players the club hopes to sign on Thursday at training is a striker known to the Worksop fans.
The manager believes he’s got the balance right with his summer squad-building.
“It looks like we’ve covered all bases with the squad,” he said.
“We look like we have options, and we can rotate round to take a look at people.
“I want to see a bit more hunger from them, to put it all on the line this year and win a shirt.
“There’s competition all over for places, so they need to show a lot of heart, especially when their backs are against the wall.”