Build­ing blocks se­cure at Macc

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - ADAM BURGESS

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’

Alis­tair Wil­son

●● Macclesfield skip­per Paul Turn­bull was among five play­ers to re-new con­tracts at the Moss Rose in the last week

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