Stocksbridge Park Steels manager Chris Hilton finally got his man after landing Ashley Burbeary.
The Steels boss has been a long admirer of the attacking midfielder who hit six goals for Evo-Stik Premier Division Buxton last term and also signed dual registration forms with NCE League Handsworth Parrmaore near end of the campaign.
The much travelled y also lists Worksop Town, FC United of Manchester, Belper Town, Droylsden and Gainsborough Trinity amongst his former clubs.
“Ash is a great signing for us and we are delighted that he has decided to come here. Ash has great experience at this level andcan also help our younger lad. He can play midfield or up front and will add goals to the side.”
Burbeary made his debut in the 4-1 defeat against a strong Sheffield Wednesday development team that included Sergiu Buss and Darryl Latchman. Scott Ruthven scored for Steels to pull it back to 2-1 at the break before the Owls ran in two more goals after the break.
Hilton is not expecting to be making any further signings before the league season gets under way in just over a weeks time with a trip to Market Drayton Town.
* The NCE League clubs kick off this weekend but most of them are in FA Cup action.
There are no Premier League fixtures and only a skeleton fixture list in Division One.
The draw for the extra-preliminary round has thrown up a couple of derbies with Hallam making the short trip to Worksop Town, while Handsworth Parramore kick-off their cup campaign at Premier Division rivals Armthorpe Welfare.
Hallam boss Ryan Hindley is relishing the challenge of facing Premier Division Worksop and says that he and his players are looking forward to the trip: “There will be a 400-plus crowd so it should be a great atmosphere. These are the games you want to play in, we’re ready and raring to go.
“The players application in pre-season has been excellent.We’ve played teams from higher divisions and haven’t lost a game other than against Wednesday and United, and you’re not going to beat them with the teams they put out.
“Mark (Shaw) has done a fantastic job at Worksop, we’ll respect them, but don’t fear them, I have complete belief in my team.”
Hallam finished sixth in Division One last season only to lose out in the play-off’s beaten 2-0 at Bottesford Town in the semi-finals and are widely expected to mount another promotion push.
Hindley said: “We’ve made some great signings. In Tom Roebuck we have one of the best defenders in the league. We’ve brought in Jake Currie, Matty Ord and Scott Bates who will all score goals and will take a bit of pressure of Mikey (Blythen) so Im really looking forward to what should be an exciting season.”
Hallam will be without Micah Bishop and Connor Chappell through injury.
Handsworth will start big favourites for their trip to Armthorpe
Parkgate entertain Irlam FC who were promoted to the North West Counties Premier Division at the end of last season.
* Tomorrow’s fixtures include (3pm unless stated): FA Cup extra-prelim round: Armthorpe W v Handsworth Parr, Maltby Mn v Squires Gate, Parkgate v Irlam, Penistone Ch v Cheadle, Retford Utd v Leicester Road, Worksop Town v Hallam.
NCE Div One: Dronfield Tn v Winterton Ran, Grimsby Boro v Ollerton Town, Hall Road v Glasshoughton W, Rossington Mn v Selby Town, Teversal v Eccleshill Utd, Westella & Willerby v Campion, Yorks Amat v Worsbrough Bridge Ath.
* Sunday - FA Cup extra-prelim round: AFC Emley v Athersley Rec.