Hyde United building on solid foundations

HYDE United’s 2021-22 Northern Premier League campaign will be built on stability with 15 players re-signing.

Captain and forward Tom Pratt was the first to agree a new contract and he has been followed by 14 further players.

There will be continuity at the back as eight defensive players from the aborted last campaign have re-signed.

The defensive players remaining at Ewen Fields are goalkeepers Joe Green, Craig Ellison and Ricardo Longato along with back four players Brad Roscoe, Andy Hollins, Tom Morris, Kyle Brownhill and Jordan Fagbola.

And they are joined by midfielders Jack Sherratt, Liam Tongue, Kingsley James and Janni Lipka along with academy graduates Cameron Fogerty and Finn Rorke.

In the case of Fagbola, it will be like having a new signing after he missed the whole of last season through a ruptured Achilles sustained in pre-season training on August 6.

Manager Dave McGurk said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get Jordan back. He will return as strong as ever due to his commitment levels over the last 12 months.

“He’s put in some serious work, and we all know his abilities. He’s one of the best centre halves at this level and we have great competition for places.”

McGurk is delighted with the way his squad is taking shape.

Hyde will have great competition for the goalkeeper’s shirt between Green, Ellison and Longato.

 

McGurk said: “We see Joe as a project but his form for the last four or five games before Covid hit was brilliant. He has all the attributes, knows where he needs to improve and he’s doing everything he can to improve. He’s got huge potential and we are delighted to keep him.

“Craig will re-join us for pre-season and I’ve had an open conversation with him that’s he’s behind Joe in the pecking order but there’s still a shirt to fight for. He’s great to have around the place and his performance in our last friendly was the best performance I’ve seen in a long time from a goalkeeper.

“Ricardo is making fantastic progress. We may look to get him out and playing men’s football regularly. Chris (Shaw, goalkeeping coach) has done some great work with him and he’s got a bright future’’.

Of the other defensive signings, McGurk said: “Brad was our best player for the games we did play last year.

“I’ve seen a new side to him. He’s training at a new level and setting standards for players to follow. He has had huge interest from other clubs, so I’m delighted he’s committed to us.

“Tom stepped up a couple of levels last year and made steady progress throughout pre-season and then went on to be a consistent performer.

“He has great ability on the ball, and we feel we can improve his game as a centre half. He wants to learn and he’s still a young lad as far as centre halves go.

“Very similar to Tom, Andy has loads of attributes going for him as a centre half. He’s 6ft 4in, good on the ball and good in both boxes. We both know where he can improve and he’s a willing learner and he’s another young defender who we are excited about.

“Kyle is a player who I know what I’m getting out of every week. Another one who sets standards in training and is the fittest player I’ve worked with.’’

Midfielders Liam Tongue, Kingsley James, Jack Sherratt and Janni Lipka are all back at Ewen Fields as well as academy graduates Cameron Fogerty and Finn Rourke.

McGurk continued: “Liam is a crowd favourite who has scored some huge goals for us. He’s another one who has attracted interest from a higher level but he wants to be part of this football club.

“In the short season we had last year, Kingsley impressed everyone with his attitude on and off the pitch. He’s a real leader and his demands in training and in games have made players better.

“Jack’s versatility helps us in the fact that we can switch formations and he can do a very good job in any position he’s asked to cover.

“First thing with Janni is to keep him fit, I think we saw in the one game he played last season how good of a player he is.

“Cam has progressed through the academy and has impressed us massively since he has been training. He’s got no fear and has a fantastic mentality for an 18-year-old.

“Finn is another academy graduate he came in with us the back end of last season and im-pressed in training. He is the type of lad who will grasp the opportunity.’’

More announcements on players staying are expected soon.

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