Key men pleased to stay on board

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IT’S been a week of pos­i­tive news at the Moss Rose with at­tacker Chris Hol­royd and vet­eran de­fender Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton among five play­ers to sign ex­tended deals.

Hol­royd joined the Silk­men on loan from Pre­ston North End in 2012 but made the move per­ma­nent shortly af­ter a five-month stint at More­cambe.

The 28-year-old has ex­tended his time at Macc by an­other 12 months af­ter netting four times in 40 games dur­ing the push to­wards the play­offs, of­ten find­ing him­self in an un­fa­mil­iar wideright role last sea­son.

Hol­royd will hope to im­prove on that to­tal in the com­ing cam­paign and go one step fur­ther by achiev­ing a top-five fin­ish and he praised manager John Askey’s work so far this sum­mer.

“The manager has done well to keep a core of play­ers that he has wanted to keep. The club has got a bit of sta­bil­ity in terms of the manager and the squad,” he said.

“Peo­ple seem to keep com­ing back so that is a big com­pli­ment to the manager.”



37 ap­pear­ances in the league last sea­son as well as two in the Cup pro­vid­ing goals and as­sists along the way.

“Build­ing on the last two sea­sons, I’ve re­ally en­joyed my time here, I’ve en­joyed work­ing with the manager so it’s very pleas­ing to get signed up again.”

Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton, who made more ap­pear­ances than any­one at Macc last sea­son, has also penned a new deal.

He played 44 times for the Silk­men last sea­son and was a piv­otal fig­ure in their pro­mo­tion push.

The 33-year-old has made it clear that he aims to stick with Macclesfield to fight for pro­mo­tion again next sea­son, de­spite in­ter­est for his sig­na­ture from other clubs.

“It was an easy de­ci­sion re­ally, I had in­ter­est from else­where but my heart is here. Deep down I wasn’t ready to leave.”

The for­mer Ever­ton youth team player is very happy with the way the club op­er­ates in com­par­i­son to the more fi­nan­cially ca­pa­ble teams in the di­vi­sion and is con­vinced this is where he wants to play his foot­ball be­fore his days in the game be­come limited.

When asked about the in­flu­ence of the manager to sign the new deal, Pilk­ing­ton re­sponded: “He is a big part of how the club plays and he man­aged to

‘We’ve only got to go one bet­ter – it was a shame we didn’t reach the play-offs’

as­sem­ble a great team last year with less re­sources than a lot of the clubs in the di­vi­sion.”

“We’ve only got to go one bet­ter, it’s a shame we didn’t make the play-offs.”

Pilk­ing­ton shared his dis­ap­point­ment in not reach­ing last sea­son’s play-offs af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing end to the sea­son, es­pe­cially away from home but he has in­sisted that this will only fuel the team’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to fin­ish in the top five next year or even be pro­moted au­to­mat­i­cally. The cen­tre-half is clearly not fazed by the fi­nan­cial back­ing of other clubs in the di­vi­sion and is con­fi­dent in the sys­tem of devel­op­ment that John Askey has im­ple­mented at Moss Rose.

“There is no rea­son why we can’t com­pete.

“With a solid home record as recorded last sea­son, added to by some tough away wins and Macc will again be part of the run-in for a pro­mo­tion place.”

●● Chris Hol­royd, left, and Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton have signed new deals

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