Macc will cope with­out Den­nis

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - SHELDAN KEAY

MAC­CLES­FIELD Town goal­keeper Ritchie Brana­gan in­sists the club will be able to cope next sea­son de­spite los­ing leading scorer Kris­tian Den­nis.

Den­nis spent the last cam­paign on loan at the Silk­men from Stock­port County, scor­ing 22 league goals.

Macc had hoped he may stay at the club, but he has in­stead signed with League One side Ch­ester­field.

While Brana­gan knows Den­nis will be a big miss, he is con­fi­dent that the team can still have suc­cess next sea­son.

“I’m re­ally happy for Kris­tian but it is sad to see him go, but we’ve seen be­fore los­ing peo­ple isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a new thing,” Brana­gan told the club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

“We lost Con­nor Jen­nings and Scott Bo­den, and the year af­ter we only just missed out.

“Dur­ing that sea­son we didn’t re­ally have a pro­lific goal scorer as such and matches were won through the hard work of the 11 on the pitch. How­ever the gaffer does have a knack for find­ing a gem up­front so it’s ex­cit­ing to see how things pan out in terms of play­ers in­com­ing.”

While Mac­cles­field may have dropped away from play-off con­tention dur- ing the sec­ond half of last sea­son, Brana­gan be­lieves they showed they can com­pete with the top teams.

“We have to take the pos­i­tives – and there were plenty of them – and take them into next sea­son. Only that way we can push for­ward,” he said.

“We set the bar so high a cou­ple of years ago with the play-off push and that’s the stan­dard that we have to strive for ev­ery sea­son.

“There’s some­thing about this club and the peo­ple at the club that brings the best out of me. I was happy with the games I played and my aims are to take that straight into next sea­son.

“For ex­am­ple, the games I played against Eastleigh and Tran­mere. I want to show the fans 40 per­for­mances like that so I’m al­ready ex­cited to get back in.

“The gaffer has done an in­cred­i­ble job over the last three years. He’s built this squad of play­ers on a small bud­get. The play­ers want to play for him and want to play for each other each sea­son.

“That kind of at­mos­phere is rare, and it’s a ma­jor fac­tor in why we are able to com­pete at the top end of the table.

“Know­ing the lads, they’ll have the same mind­set as me go­ing into next sea­son. Per­son­ally I’m feel­ing very op­ti­mistic we can achieve some­thing spe­cial.”

Brana­gan is cur­rently en­joy­ing a well-earned rest, but he ad­mits the play­ers need to stay ac­tive be­fore pre-sea­son starts.

“Through the years I’ve learned that in June you’re ef­fec­tively giv­ing your­self a pre-pre-sea­son to make sure you’re ready to go come July,” he said.

“The fit­ter you are, the more you en­joy it. I look for­ward to it a lot more now than I used to.”

Peter Hil­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy

●● Kris­tian Den­nis cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against Ch­ester

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