Non League Daily

Nailers Gear Up For Promotion Drive

Belper Town are gearing up for another attempt on promotion from Evo-Stik League Division One South, and there has been a steady influx of new players as manager Peter Duffield looks to strengthen his squad for the new season.

Sam Duncum has joined the Nailers from Buxton and previously played in the Football League for Rotherham United, and he has also appeared for Ilkeston FC in more recent times.

Mick Godber (pictured), who has been very much involved in the close season recruitment drive, says that he and Nailers' manager Peter Duffield are delighted to have a player of Duncum's ability on board.

He explained: "Sam is a proper old fashioned winger, the type of player that's a little different to what we've got.

"He's quick, very direct, likes to run at players, he's gets good crosses in and we're delighted to have him here.

"He dropped down a league and took a pay cut to come here, so that says a lot about how much he wants to play for the club, but he likes the look of the pitch, the club and the way that we play football, so it's good to have him here.

"He's certainly a good signing for us.

"We score a lot of goals here and he can play a part in adding to that.

"With him Chris Adam, Colin Marrison, Simon Harrison etc, we've got some competition for places out wide.

"We are hoping we are going to be up there at the end of next season and Sam wants to be a part of that."

The Nailers have also been boosted after key players Jon Froggatt and Steve Warne agreed to stay on at Christchurch Meadow.

Godber explained: "We took up the option on their contracts and I don't really think there was ever any question that that wouldn't happen.

"Jon is a quality player and with him being out injured for first half of last season, it was a big blow.

"If you look back at the start of last season, we drew seven of the first eight games and were bottom of the league at one stage, but Jon is the sort of player who could have turned those draws into wins and that could have made all the difference."

He continued: "We have to keep him injury-free, and get 40-odd games out of him and hopefully he'll get us 30 goals because he makes a big difference to us and he's a really good player.

"As for Steve Warne, he is probably one of those players that people don't always notice for what he's doing each game, but when he's not there, you know it.

"A good example of that is the play-off semi-final. We were 2-0 up and looking good but he got injured and had to go off and we fell apart after that.

"He runs the engine room in that midfield, he's a good player, a great lad and very popular in the changing room."

Three players who won't be involved with the Nailers next season are Daryll Thomas, Greg Wright and Eric Graves, for different reasons.

Mick Godber added: "Greg is having a season out of football because of other commitments and that's fair enough, and Daryll has taken up an offer at Matlock Town.

"Eric we thought would be staying but he's now told us he's moving to Gresley FC.

The Nailers have also recruited defender Jake Dale-Brown from Loughborough Dynamo, Martin Smyth from Mickleover and Jamie Jackson from Bradford Park Avenue.

James Lindley will replace Aaron Chapman in goal and is well known to Duffield and Godber who had him at Retford United, while Antony Rowley, a wide man who impressed for Hucknall against the Nailers has also joined the playing staff.

Duffield has also announced that Ashley Longstaff will be returning to Christchurch Meadow after the pair settled their differences following the big striker's exit early on last season.

Duffield is also waiting on Chesterfield's decision on Shaun Tuton, who has spent some time training with the Spireites, and should Tuton return then the Nailers would have an impressive selection of strikers to choose from.

Peter Duffield, who has just returned from holiday, was indebted to assistant Godber for his efforts while he was away.

"Mick's done a great job while I've been on holiday," he said. "And although we have been in contact he's managed to make some excellent signings and they will be great additions to our squad."

> Nigel Oldrini

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