Dolly Blues’ squad close to completion

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LANCASTER City caretaker boss Mick Hoyle is close to finalising his squad for the coming season.

Hoyle previously told the Lancaster Guardian he wanted to get his squad down to 20 ahead of this Saturday’s clash with Kendal Town at Giant Axe. Now he only waiting for responses from a few players.

Zach Clark, who has also been training with Conference North outfit Workington, is among the names to have committed himself to the club.

Hoyle also remains optimistic returning favourite Jordan Connerton will start the season as a Dolly Blue.

He said: “We’re well on with things and hopefully will have the squad of 20 fully known by Saturday.

“Things are looking good and we should have a strong squad with some youth in there as well.”

Dave Swarbrick is one player Hoyle is waiting for an answer from. The striker, who has also been training with Barrow, is currently on holiday.

The squad would appear to have an embarrassment of riches in attack though as while working hard to secure the services of both Swarbrick and Connerton, the City boss has seen Joe Bunney and Tom Kilifin amongst the goals. England Schoolboys striker Bunney returned to action with a hat-trick for a City reserve side in the 3-3 draw with Euxton Villa on Saturday and Kilifin bagged a brace in the 3-0 win over Garstang on Tuesday night.

Hoyle said: “I spoke about Jordan and Dave Swarbrick last week and then two of our other strikers get amongst the goals. They both have big futures at the club and it gives us great competition for places.

“I think Swarbrick will play out wide on the right if he signs with us but having Tom, Jordan and Joe Bunney going for two positions is a great start.”

Despite this, Hoyle has made enquiries about bringing former City frontman Mark Jackson, currently with Kendal, back to the club.

He said: “Mark’s not registered anywhere at the moment and I’ve great admiration for him from the last time he was with us.

“With the style we want to play he would be a big plus for us. We’ve only made enquiries though and he could play against us on Saturday.”

On the injury front Rob Henry, who hasn’t featured during pre-season due to a burst appendix, still faces another two or three weeks out but will be part of the squad come the start of the season.

Assistant manager Michael Stringfellow is back in training after an eye injury picked up playing five-a-side and hopes to play in a couple of pre-season friendlies before the start of the Evo-Stik First Division North campaign on August 18.

Neil Marshall has been confirmed as club captain for the coming season.

* DUNDEE manager Barry Smith has thanked people in the area for their help and support during his side’s recent trip to face Lancaster City.

Smith praised the Dolly Blues and their fans for their warm welcome and thanked everyone at Galgate FC who had helped them with a training venue while they were staying in the district for their recent pre-season games with City and Kendal.