New boys brought in to boost Frickley

Gareth Grant
Gareth Grant

Frickley Athletic manager Karl Rose has boosted his squad ahead of the run-in with the addition of experienced former Football League striker Gareth Grant and midfielder Stephen (Jack) Wakefield.

Grant went straight into the squad for the trip to Nantwich Town last Saturday, making his debut as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat, but Wakefield must wait to make his Blues debut after receiving a three-match suspension for a sending off while at his previous club, Ossett Town.

Wakefield will not be eligible to play until the away game at Grantham Town on April 5 as, along with Grant, he will not qualify to play in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup semi-final against Worksop Parramore, due to not being registered the required 28 days before the game.

Wakefield, 26, has also played for Goole AFC and Hemsworth Miners Welfare.

Grant, 33, meanwhile, joins the club from NCE League side Pontefract Collieries and his signing already looks timely with first choice striker Gavin Allott likely to face a suspension after his second sending off of the season at Nantwich.

Grant started his career at Bradford City and after loan moves to Halifax Town, Bolton Wanderers and Lincoln City he went on to have spells at Chester City, Gainsborough Trinity, Harrogate Town, Farsley Celtic and Droylsden before joining Ossett Town last year.

Manager Rose has let goalkeeper James Hitchcock join Retford United on dual registration while Brad Kilburn was released last week to join Ossett Town.

The Blues were disappointed to see their three-match winning run in the Evo-Stik Premier League ended at Nantwich when they let the lead slip to lose 2-1 last weekend and are looking to bounce straight back this Saturday when away to tenth-placed Kings Lynn Town (3pm).

They are also in action next Tuesday at home to Worksop Parramore in the semi-finals of the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup (7.45pm).

l Frickley player Steve Gardner has been selected to play for an FA representative XI against the Northern League at Bishop Auckland on Tuesday, March 25.

The game is part of the Northern League’s 125th anniversary celebrations and the squad includes players from Harrogate Town, Blyth Spartans, Whitby Town and Darlington 1883.

Jake Picton was also selected in the original FA squad, but as other commitments would make it difficult for him to arrive at Bishop Auckland at the stipulated time the FA have agreed to release Picton from the squad, which will enable him to play for the Blues against Worksop Parramore on the same evening.