Shaw earmarks ex Sheffield United youngster for the future at Worksop Town

Worksop Town manager, Mark Shaw.
Worksop Town manager, Mark Shaw.

Mark Shaw has added three players to his squad, including a teenage striker he’s earmarked for the future, after release by Sheffield United.

The Worksop Town boss has now made four signings in a fortnight, with a view to further changes, in what appears to be the start of a rebuild.

This week’s new faces are Kieron Fenton, Connor Johnson and Owen Clarke.

Fenton, a prospect at Nottingham Forest until last summer, is a centre-half who can also play left-back.

Versatile midfielder Johnson is known to Tigers fans having joined the club late last season, before spells with Grantham and Belper.

And Clarke is a new face to the non-league scene.

He recently turned 16 and was snapped up by Shaw who knows him from his work with the Sheffield United youth system.

The manager said: “He is one for the future.

“He’s just turned 16 and might not play first team football this year or even next year, but he’s been training with the first team and I’ve been extremely impressed with him.

“He’s really grasped it.

“Through my work with Sheffield United I see a lot of young players and once United decide players aren’t for them, it’s an opportunity for us if they live locally to involve them.”

It is hoped Clarke will join the Worksop Town academy programme in September.

Shaw credited former player Josh Thomas and his father for alerting Tigers to Fenton, who could be in line for a debut this weekend if the weather-threatened game at Liversedge goes ahead.

“He’s been on the radar since we had Josh Thomas here,” said Shaw.

“I have to give his dad Mark a lot of credit, he recommends these lads to us.

“Kieron had a bit of an injury and didn’t get any further than the Under 21s at Forest, but he’s got a really good calibre and hopefully he will fit right in.

“He’s hoping to get something going for himself and will help Worksop Town.”

And Shaw is pleased to have Johnson back, albeit later than he’d have liked.

“He’s not fully fit yet, and I was a bit disappointed to lose him at the end of last season – he wanted to try it at Grantham, but sometimes the grass isn’t greener.

“I’ve known him since he was 16, he’s another body at a time when we’ve got injuries.”

One player who won’t be joining is Staveley’s Adam Scott, who rejected the chance to speak to Tigers, but Shaw hasn’t closed the door.

“We’ve not had communication with him, our first day to speak to him would have been Sunday but he had put a statement out by then, through Staveley,” said Shaw.

“I have to commend the lad, showing loyalty to his club, I’m all for that.

“We’ve done things the right way, I’m still interested and I would probably still want to speak to him in the summer, I’ve had great reports about him.”