Keep our kids here

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - MIKE GLENDIN­NING Call the Ex­press sports desk

IN­VEST­ING in youth is the only way to pro­tect Mac­cles­field Town’s fu­ture.

That’s the view of man­ager John Askey, who’s des­per­ate to sign up his fledg­ling stars and avoid a third straight sum­mer start­ing from scratch.

The boss has worked won­ders in putting to­gether a team that cur­rently sits two points out­side the play-off places.

But, although there was a veteran in Efe Sodje on the bench, the side fac­ing Wrex­ham last Fri­day con­tained nu­mer­ous lads still find­ing their way in the pro­fes­sional game.

And Askey says th­ese young­sters need to be awarded sig­nif­i­cantly­sized con­tracts for the good of the club.

“I think we had six lads un­der 22 on Fri­day night and no­body over 30 on the pitch, I think Chris Hol­royd was the old­est at 28,” said Askey ahead of their Tues­day night re­play at Wrex­ham.

“What we need to do is build for the fu­ture, I want th­ese lads to be signed up to pro­tect the club and build for the fu­ture, we need to spec­u­late to ac­cu­mu­late.

“I un­der­stand there’s a re­luc­tance to com­mit to ma­jor in­vest­ment but we need to get the bal­ance right.

“Danny An­drew left for far less than he should have done last sum­mer and we don’t want the same thing to hap­pen with the likes of Paul Lewis.”

Askey has been able to make some in­vest­ment this week, as a de­fender is ex­pected to join to­mor­row (Thurs­day) to help Macc cope with the de­par­ture of Luke Wa­ter­fall, whose loan spell ends after Satur­day’s trip to Nuneaton.

“Ob­vi­ously Luke’s been fan­tas­tic for us,” added Askey. “We’re hop­ing him re­turn­ing to Scun­thorpe won’t be too big a loss, we’ll only know for sure once he’s gone though.

“But Alex Grant did well on Fri­day night and we’ve got a new de­fender com­ing in on a month’s loan.

“Ob­vi­ously Luke wants to play his foot­ball in the league, him re­turn­ing de­pends what their new man­ager wants to do with him when he gets back. Their player on loan at Gateshead (Callum Howe) was al­lowed to play for them in the cup at the week­end. Luke wasn’t so that tells its own story.

“And there will be clubs who’ll be in­ter­ested in Luke and can af­ford to pay more for him than we can. If we can stay in and around the play-off pic­ture it makes it more of an en­tic­ing prospect for him so we’ll have to see.

“We do have good news on Danny Whi­taker. He was back in train­ing with the squad on Mon­day so, as long as there’s no re­ac­tion this week, he could be in­volved on Satur­day.”

Si­mon Pen­drigh

●● Luke Wa­ter­fall (above, right of pic) made his mark at Macc Town, not least with a stun­ning goal against South­port last month, but he re­turns to Scun­thorpe United after this week­end’s trip to Nuneaton

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