Squad finalised as Lancaster City near kick-off

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LANCASTER City caretaker boss Mick Hoyle is pleased with the make-up of his squad, despite the shock loss of Jordan Connerton.

The striker left Giant Axe for Workington last week just days after his Dolly Blues return was confirmed but Hoyle is delighted to have secured the services of Dave Swarbrick and experienced former Morecambe winger Neil Wainwright.

Hoyle said: “Neil has played more than 350 league games and is a very good pro, which he’s shown in the win against Workington and in training.

“He will be a great asset to the squad. His experience can only help the younger players.

“Dave Swarbrick has also put pen to paper and the final squad of 22 is finalised.

“Jordan has gone to play at a higher level. They’ve given him a good offer and we respect that as we have other players with the potential to play higher up the pyramid.

“But I feel a bit let down with the timing and I don’t feel it’s the right move for him. He would be better off staying with us and scoring 15 to 20 goals and having bigger and better clubs looking at him, with all due respect to Workington.”

Another striker who won’t be with the club next season is Mark Jackson, who has decided to join Skelmersdale instead of City.

Hoyle is still waiting for a decision from former Morecambe defender Niall Cowperthwaite, despite the fact he played against City for Workington on Saturday.

City’s temporary boss has however finalised his goalkeepers for the coming season with former Rhyl and England Universities 
goalkeeper Stefan Holden, who has impressed in recent friendlies, set to be backed up by former Fleetwood youngster Joe Wheeler.

Neil Beesley has left the club and the City boss has decided not to take Danny McDonald on loan from AFC Fylde.

“Joe has been with Fleetwood for the last couple of years and comes recommended by (former City striker) Stuart Diggle,” said Hoyle.

“Stefan had been training with Ramsbottom but they have a goalkeeper on contract and he didn’t want to be number two.

“We had Danny on trial and could have taken him on loan but it would have been on a 24-hour recall which is no good for us really if someone at Fylde got injured.”

After the Dolly Blues’ 3-2 win over Workington Hoyle says he wants the club to finish their pre-season campaign on a high with victory over Buxton at Giant Axe on Saturday in their final friendly before the new Evo-Stik First Division North campaign gets under way against Farsley on August 18.

He said: “We’ve played Kendal, Barrow and Workington who are all higher up the pyramid and held our own against all three of them.

“The only disappointment was going 3-0 down against Kendal but I thought we deserved the win on Saturday and things are looking okay.”

“Hopefully we can continue against Buxton and go into the season on the back of three wins.”

Hoyle has also spoken to City boss Tony Hesketh who had his hip operation, which looks set to keep him out for three months, a fortnight ago.

He said: “Tony has six to eight weeks on crutches but is feeling chirpy and getting better.”