Lancaster City boss keeping title-winning squad together

Lancaster City manager Phil Brown with Mayor Robert Redfern.
Lancaster City manager Phil Brown with Mayor Robert Redfern.

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown says it’s a case of evolution not revolution when it comes to shaping his squad for life in the Premier Division.

The Dolly Blues manager will be without both goalkeeper Mike Hale and top goalscorer Jordan Connerton who have left the club but is confident the majority of his Evo-Stik First Division North title-winning team will still be at Giant Axe come August.

Brown believes that core of players will adapt to life in the level above as work begins on bringing in new additions.

“I’ve spoken to everybody and everybody’s fairly positive and has indicated that they would be more than happy to come back,” said the City boss, speaking at a Mayoral reception held to honour the club’s season on Tuesday night.

“I’ve got to finalise a few things with a couple of players but in the main I’m quite positive that quite a lot of last year’s playing squad will be back.

“We’ve got some on-going talks with some targets too and I’m waiting on players coming back to me.

“It’s all pretty positive to be honest.

“It’s been going smoother than it usually does, so I’m happy at this moment in this time.”

There’ll be no panic when it comes to recruitment, Brown expecting his current players to relish the challenge of playing in the Premier Division.

“The quality will go up, it’s a different level, but I’m confident in the players I’ve got,” he said.

“There’s some young, hungry players there, some talented players there.

“We will need some new players in to freshen it up and add to the strength in depth in a few positions.

“But I’m not looking at last year’s team thinking I’ve got to rip it to pieces.

“It’s a title-winning team and there’s players that will go onto play at a higher level, hopefully with us.

“I don’t think we’re miles off. I think with some additions, the same attitude and outlook in terms of our work ethic and togetherness, and the quality I’ve spoken about, we’ll be alright.”

For Brown, the audience with the Mayor of Lancaster Robert Redfern and senior council figures at the Town Hall was an apt way to bring the curtain down on a season to remember.

“It wasn’t something I expected,” he said.

“It was the first time I’d been to Lancaster Town Hall.

“It’s obviously a very grand place and it was really nice to experience their hospitality.

“I did have in my mind that it would be the night where we dotted the is and crossed the ts in terms of the season finishing.

“We’ve got a bit of a get together coming up over the weekend for the players and staff but now we’re moving onto next season.”