Signings give Frickley a boost ahead of big kick-off

New Frickley Athletic signing Connor Bower.
New Frickley Athletic signing Connor Bower.
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Frickley Athletic have been given a boost ahead of their big kick-off this Saturday with three players signing new deals for the season ahead.

Manager Karl Rose has brought in Connor Bower on dual registration basis from Harrogate Town while Royale Johnson has joined from Harrogate Town and Jameel Ible has re-signed.

Striker Bower, who played for the Blues at Ossett Town in a pre-season game last Saturday, is a 20-year-old forward who was originally a junior at Bradford City before joining Garforth Town. After a short spell in Sweden he joined FC United of Manchester at the start of last season before finishing the season at Ossett Albion where he scored 12 goals.

Defender Ible started last season on loan with the Blues from Guiseley and later signed on non-contract forms with the club following his release from the Nethermoor club.

Forward Johnson, 20, has joined the club on a dual registration basis from Harrogate Town and has also played for Hallam FC in the NCE League.

All three are in contention for a place in the Blues’ starting line-up for their opening game in the Evo-Stik Premier League this Saturday when they host Matlock Town at the SW Jackson Utilities Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

Frickley go into the season proper on the back of an encouraging 3-1 win over Evo-Stik First Division North side Ossett Town in their last warm-up match last Saturday when new boy Johnson was a scorer along with Simon Lenighan and Luke Hinsley.

With pre-season wins also against young sides put out by Football League clubs Hull City, Leeds United and Barnsley the Blues have shown promise for better things to come in the 2015-16 campaign after relegation battles in recent years.

They must overcome the loss of prolific scoring striker Gavin Allott, who has left for Shaw Lane Aquaforce, and will also be without promising young forward Reece Thompson, who joined York City and made his debut against Wycombe Wanderers in Sky Bet League Two last Saturday.

But they have signed former Rotherham United academy player Zeph Thomas as well as Johnson and Bower to boost their strikeforce.

Another striker, Chris Wood, has also returned to the club. He previously played under manager Rose during the 2013-14 season before going onto play for Ossett Town and AFC Mansfield.

Opening day opponents Matlock finished five places above the Blues, in 14th, last season.

Frickley are also in action next Tuesday when they travel to play Darlington 1883 (7.45pm).