Lancaster City boss targets more goals from midfield after double deal

Sam Bailey during his previous spell at Lancaster City. Picture: Tony North
Sam Bailey during his previous spell at Lancaster City. Picture: Tony North

Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is confident his side will have more of an attacking threat from midfield after securing his first two signings of the summer.

Sam Bailey has returned to the club from Kendal Town and long-time target Scott Harries has arrived from Warrington as the Dolly Blues look to build on their Evo-Stik First Division North title triumph.

Bailey scored 17 goals from the right wing for the Mintcakes last season, making the league’s team of the year as City were promoted.

Harries was named in the First Division North select XI 12 months earlier while at Clitheroe, with Warrington pipping the Dollies to his signature at that point.

“Looking back at last season, when we went through the stats and the analysis of our attacking play, one of the more disappointing things was the goals from midfield,” said Brown.

“It’s something we want to remedy.

“Both players will create goals for us and chip in with a few as well.

“They’ve got good set piece delivery and will give us more attacking impetus.

“But they also fit the profile of what we’re trying to bring in and will fit in in the changing room.”

Bailey is a familiar face to Dolly Blues fans having left Giant Axe for Parkside Road in the summer of 2015.

He has netted more than 30 goals from midfield since then and although versatile, Brown has a clear idea of where the former Bolton Wanderers youngster will fit in.

“Sam can play in the centre but he made that right midfield position his at Kendal,” said the City boss.

“He got 17 goals last season and 14 the season before.

“He’s got good awareness and good set piece delivery.

“He knows when to rotate and when to find pockets of space.”

Harries is a player Brown has tracked for some time, the winger having played for Northwich Victoria and AFC Fylde amongst others.

“He’s had a really good non-league career,” said the Blues manager.

“He was in the team of the year with Clitheroe and that got him the move to Warrington.

“We tried to get him then so I’m delighted to have him now.

“He’s a technical player who can play across midfield but mainly from the left.

“It’s great to have him with us.”

The double deal is the first part of Brown’s recruitment, the title-winning boss still having the big job of replacing 35-goal front man Jordan Connerton and long-serving goalkeeper Mike Hale who have both left the club.

“I’ve still got a couple of targets in terms of strikers,” he said.

“I’m not saying these two will fill the void left by Connie but they will improve our attacking play.

“We need a goalkeeper too but I’m not after an influx of players, maybe four or five.

“The vast majority of last season’s squad have indicated they are more than happy to come back and I’m confident they can step up.”