Fish makes first summer signing

MOSSLEY have made Callum Charlton, pictured above, their first pre-season signing.

The 24-year-old, a former professional at Huddersfield Town, who has been captured from North West Counties League side Emley, has verbally agreed terms for the 2021-22 season.

Manager David Fish believes Charlton will provide balance on the left where he can play either full-back or midfield.

“Callum played in all three of our recent friendlies and impressed. He is quick, very strong and will be a good addition to the squad,” he explained.

Callum Charlton

After being released by Huddersfield Town, Charlton had a spell at Altrincham where he sustained a serious injury.

In recent times he has played for Eccleshill United, Ossett and Emley.

Fish has retained the nucleus of last season’s squad, through four players have left.

Jes Uchegbulam rejected an offer to stay and has joined Northern Premier League, premier division side Matlock Town.

Uchegbulam signed from Stockport Town in 2018 and developed through the Under-21s making his first team debut in a 4-1 win at Widnes in February 2019.

The 20-year-old winger, who scored six goals in 40 first-team appearances for the Lilywhites, attracted attention from professional clubs.

In the last year, he had trials with Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford, Salford City and Stockport County.

The three others leaving are all strikers, Danny McLaughlin, former academy graduate Dylan Fitzgerald and Ryan Shenton.

Fish said: “Jes is a talented footballer who made good strides, and I wanted to keep him.

“He is an exciting player with bags of potential, and I have wished him well at Matlock.”

Looking to build on last season, Fish said: “We probably need to add experience and a little more quality to what we already have.

“We will be sticking to our principles, though, and they will have to be players of the right age, right experience and right project.”

Mossley have also strengthened their coaching staff by bringing in Scott Thompson and James Stokes who were at Glossop North End last season.

Fish had no regrets about bringing the players back, even though the season had been abandoned.

The players returned for more than one month during which time they played three friendlies, beating Wythenshawe Amateurs 6-2, Ashton United 2-0 and FC Halifax Town U23s 3-0.

Fish said: “There was a lot of umming and ahing and concerns from the coaching staff about bringing in the players for no reason.

“It was definitely beneficial, and it served its purpose as we were able to tinker with formations and systems and look at trialists.

“Given how the squad was hurriedly put together last July and August, they had not been together long before lockdown so getting them together helped build team spirit and camaraderie.

“We won all three games, so they were successful. I have had messages from some of the lads saying how they are missing it since we stopped.”

Trialist goalkeeper Ewan McFarlane, once of Oldham Athletic, Salford City and AFC Fylde, impressed sufficiently to be invited back to pre-season training to compete against Liam Lovell and Jordan Hadlow for the No 1 spot.

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