MANAGER’S player of the year Jamie McGuire can’t wait to get up and running again when Fleetwood Town report in for pre-season training on Friday.
But McGuire is well aware that Micky Mellon’s accolade won’t guarantee him a place in Town’s side for their second bid at promotion to the Football League from the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Competition will be tough following the signing of Keith Briggs from Macclesfield, while Jamie Milligan will be raring to go again after knee surgery.
But 27-year-old McGuire is relishing the challenge. He said: “I know Keith already but it will be good to get to know all the (eight) new signings. The gaffer knows what he wants and has made some great signings.
“It will be good to get the first couple of weeks of fitness work out of the way and meet the new lads.
“Last season was a learning curve which we can push on from and we need that bit extra that the new guys can provide to reach our ambition of getting promotion. I am looking forward to a good season.”
McGuire’s involvement in the community does not end with turning out for Town. He recently presented the leavers’ prizes at Great Arley School.
Town have forged strong links with the Thornton special school and conduct weekly coaching sessions.
*Southport hope that new signing Simon Grand will make a big impact next year after moving down the coast from Fleetwood.
The 27-year-old has been allowed to leave Highbury on a free transfer following the summer signing of centre-halves Matty Hughes and Rob Atkinson.
Grand, signed from Northwich Victoria last summer, struggled to force his way into Micky Mellon’s side and was loaned out to Mansfield and Aldershot.
Sandgrounders boss Liam Watson said: “Simon will really contribute with his knowledge at this level and above. I look at him like a Neil Fitzhenry-style defender and I view Neil as my best ever defensive signing.”
Relegated Southport won a Blue Square Bet Premier reprieve when Rushden & Diamonds lost teir place in non-league’s top flight for financial reasons. However, the Northamptonshire club are set to appeal.
*FLEETWOOD insist they have had no contact from Mansfield Town following reports that the Stags had a sizeable bid for last season’s top scorer rejected.