NEWLY-RESURRECTED Darlaston Town FC clearly intend to come back with a bang following their year out of the local game.
Manager Mark Swann's teambuilding progress is gathering pace as pre-season preparations get under way for the opening friendly on Saturday July 5, against Rostance Edwards from the newly formed Midland League. Kick Off is 2pm at Pulse Soccer and Fitness Centre Wednesbury.
This week Swann has made two key appointments to his back room staff, appointing former Darlaston, Chasetown, Rushall Olympic and AFC Wulfrunians midfielder Mick Eagles as his first team coach whilst former Burton Albion, Wolves and Blackpool goalkeeper Scott Bamford has joined as goalkeeping coach.
Swann said "I am absolutely delighted with both appointments. Mick knows the local non-league football scene like the back of his hand and is an excellent coach. Scott lives locally, heard about what we are trying to achieve and approached us, you can see he has played professionally and already I have been very impressed with his work with our goalkeepers.
The new manager has also been busy signing players. So far 14 players have signed on the dotted line, with Swann already believing he has made his best two signings of the season.
He said, "We have secured the signings of some excellent players with West Midlands Regional League Premier Division experience with more to follow in the next few weeks."
Ryan McAllister has joined from Bilston Town and Swann could not hide his delight after securing the signature of the 27 year old and immediately appointed him as his captain. Swann said, "Ryan came up through the Darlaston ranks playing for the Youth Team and the club when they won the West Midlands League Division One title. He has played West Midlands League Premier Division football for several years and every season clubs are vying for his signature.
"This season was no different and several clubs were looking to sign Ryan but he lives in the town and is Darlaston through and through. He likes what the new committee and directors are looking to achieve and has turned down several offers to re-join his hometown club.
"He is a quality defender who can play at centre half or full back, he has a commanding presence and is very astute tactically. He is a true leader and once I secured his signature I immediately made him my captain."
Also re-joining the club is former Club Captain Anthony Follows who has been appointed vice captain. Follows is a skilful midfielder also lives in the town and has re-joined following brief spells at Wednesfield and Bilston Town. Swann said, "Ant could play in any team in the whole League and not look out of place. He is a skilful and intelligent player who has a tremendous workrate. He never knows when he is beaten and will galvanise the midfield. He will make a fantastic vice-captain and together with Ryan I have probably made the best two signings I can make for the club". Other signings include three members of last season's Premier Division Cup Winners Wednesfield, full back Martin 'Zuki' Stanton, Ashley Bradley and winger Sam Giles.
Richard Joyce has joined from Pelsall Villa with Sam Tasker (Willenhall) and Ravi Sohal formerly of Smethwick Rangers also joining the newly re-formed club.