NCEL Premier title battle will take place at Sandy Lane says man leaving Handsworth to return to Worksop

Steve Woolley - former Tiger
Steve Woolley - former Tiger

Mark Shaw has coaxed another former Tiger back to the club, in the shape of midfielder Steve Woolley.

The 30-year-old, who featured for Tigers’ landlords Handsworth Parramore last season, played 16 times in 2007/08 at Worksop Town.

And on his return to the world’s fourth oldest club he’s predicting a 2015/16 NCEL Premier title battle with the club he’s just departed.

Woolley said: “I think Handsworth will be up there, they have a lot of good players.

“But I think Worksop should win the league, I thought they should have won it last season but it was maybe a bit too much too soon towards the end of the season, maybe a bit of inexperience.

“I think it will be between Handsworth and Worksop.”

Having left Tigers to link up with Mark Shaw at Lincoln United in 2008, and played for him at Retford United and Sheffield FC, he’s well accustomed to the manager’s methods.

He says it’s the football played by Shaw’s Tigers that convinced him to swap one Sandy Lane outfit for another.

“They play the way I like to play, proper football,” he said.

“They’re the best footballing side in the league and I’ve played for Mark at a few clubs, we’re a good match.”

Woolley admits that he hasn’t got the pace he once had, and he’s keen to take a role in the centre of midfield, having once plied his trade on the wing.

“I started out wide, but as you get older you get a bit slower,” he said.

“I’ve never been an out and out wide player, I’ve always drifted inside. I like to get the ball at my feet and get more involved.”

Before he can get on the ball, and link up with the likes of Conor Higginson once again, he must go through a necessary annual process that he loathes.

“I love matches, I just hate pre-season with a passion – but it’s something you have to do.”

“It’s getting harder for me now but I grit my teeth and get through it.”