Building blocks secure at Macc
JOHN Askey’s preparations for the 2015/16 campaign started in earnest this week with five key players agreeing terms on new deals at the Moss Rose.
Danny Rowe, George Pilkington, Richie Branagan, Chris Holroyd and skipper Paul Turnbull have all committed to the Silkmen’s cause.
That spells great news for Askey, who will be looking to improve on last season’s sixth-placed finish when his side missed out on the Conference play-offs by just one point.
Captain Turnbull said: “I want to improve on last season and hopefully go one further.
“Last season was fantastic. It’s a great little club, we had a great season and I want to improve and hopefully go further.
“If we can keep some of the team from last season, then why not? We can really push on.
“We do need that further step. This is a Football League club – not a Conference club.
“It’s too big to be where it is. But hopefully we do push on and get a few more signings in.”
And Turnbull believes Askey is putting together another squad capable of challenging at the top end of the table having spoken to the manager.
“I spoke to the gaffer a few times and I said to him that if any club from the Conference comes in then I’m not interested and I would rather just stay at Macclesfield,” Turnbull told the club’s official website.
“He’s promised me that I’m not going to be the only one signing and he’s got some of the lads from last season to put pen to paper, so hopefully we will have a strong little set up again and push on.”
Goalkeeper Branagan will be looking to cement a place in the first team after only appearing twice since his switch from Salford City in 2013.
And he reckons confirmation of Askey’s new deal last week has prompted a number of players to commit their futures to the club.
“Since John signed his contract more people are signing on and the squad’s building together nicely.
“We should also be getting some new faces at the club which will all add to the squad and help us push on further next season.’
“We all want to finish higher, and higher from last season is the play-off positions, that’s what the mentality will be at the club.
“We know it’s achievable so we will work even harder to try and achieve our aims for the new season.
“My decision to sign was never in doubt, John has faith in me and I told him when I was signing that I feel my place is here at Macclesfield and I’m going to keep working harder to get my chance to shine.
“Ultimately it’s my chance to prove myself.”
On the subject of recruitment, Holroyd believes boss Askey has gone about the job the right way.
“The fans have been briliant over the last couple of years,” he said.
“Obviously it’s frustrating coming out of the Football League and then seeing all these teams throwing money about.
“It must be frustrating for fans not to see Macclesfield doing that.
“But the club has done it the right way and the manager has tried to recruit a lot of local lads who really want to play for the club and I think the fans have appreciated that.”
Defender Pilkington believes the club will be in a position to improve on last season.
“We’ve kept the nucleus of the squad together so as long as the work-rate and the desire are there, there’s no reason why we can’t challenge again next season.”
‘We do need that further step. This is a Football League club – not a Conference club’
●● Macclesfield skipper Paul Turnbull was among five players to re-new contracts at the Moss Rose in the last week