Lancaster City boss closes on first summer signings

Tom Kilifin. Picture: Tony North

Tom Kilifin. Picture: Tony North

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Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is closing in on his first summer signings.

Brown is looking to build on a sixth-placed finish in the Evo-Stik First Division North last season having taken over from Darren Peacock in November.

The Blues chief has already secured the services of goalkeeper Mike Hale, defender Ricky Mercer and midfielder Billy Akrigg, the trio having been key to an upturn in fortunes that saw an unlikely play-off bid come up just short at Giant Axe.

Confident of having most of last season’s squad in place, Brown is now focusing on new faces as he targets the top five.

He said: “I’ve got a couple of players pretty much confirmed, we’ve just got to dot some i’s and cross some t’s.

“I’ve got a couple coming in who I’m going to have a look at and who are going to have a look at us too.

“I’ve got a couple waiting to show their hands too.

“There’s plenty going on and we’re talking to targets.”

One player who has left Giant Axe is striker Tom Kilifin, the front man switching City for their Evo-Stik First Division North rivals Clitheroe.

It was a move that disappointed Brown, the Blues boss believing the former Kendal man was on board for next season after talks at the end of the campaign.

He said: “With Tom Kilifin I’m surprised he’s gone and disappointed how it all came about.

“He’s gone to a team that are rebuilding and finished below us.

“We had a chat after the season finished and then there wasn’t any communication.

“It’s disappointing.”

Clitheroe boss Simon Haworth was pleased to get his man however.

He told The Blues’ official website: “Tom’s desire to be part of what I’m building here, and wanting to improve as a player matched with his ability, makes me delighted to have completed his signing.

“He’s exactly the kind of player who I want on board.”