Blues Complete Pre-Season

Leek Town update

Leek Town completed their 7-game pre-season programme with a creditable draw against near-neighbours Buxton on Saturday.

Blues’ pre-season training commenced when Baker invited players to voluntary attend a number of squad ‘get togethers’ at the training ground early in June.

Pre-season training proper kicked in on 9 July and numbers rose to 33 players attending ahead of the 7 friendly matches of which Leek won 2, drew 2 and lost three.

Neil Baker used the games to take a good look at what remains of last season’s squad (five players) along with a host of trialists and eventually he released 7 players whilst Paul Taylor left the club due to work commitments.

Leek raise the curtain on their 2011/12 campaign with a tough encounter at home to Carlton Town on Saturday 3.00pm.

Director of Football Neil Baker will select his starting side from a 21-strong squad for the game looking to get off to a good start ahead of two tricky away games at Hucknall Town and Grantham Town.

Carlton finished a creditable 8th in the league last season and missed out on a play-off place by just 4 points.

Hucknall were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of last season and then suffered financial turmoil during the summer after receiving a demand for over £80,000 from the Inland Revenue.

The club put a deal together that was finally accepted but, as a result, the club has had to stop playing wages by turning amateur – it is understood that manager Tommy Brookbanks has agreed to stay on along with most of his players.

Meanwhile, Grantham finished last season in the final play-off place but lost in the final at Rushall Olympic after thrashing Newcastle Town in the semi-final.

>>Player news: Millar and Johnson make 21

Leek Town Director of Football, Neil Baker, added to his squad last week when he signed midfielder Christian Millar and defender Aden Johnson on non-contract terms.

Millar, who has been on the books at Macclesfield Town and Buxton in recent seasons, has signed up for a second season at Harrison Park whilst Johnson joins the club after being released by Burton Albion.

Johnson and Millar now join Baker’s 21-strong squad for the season opener against Carlton Town at Harrison Park on Saturday.

However, Baker is still looking at bringing in two more players ahead of the Carlton game including a vastly experienced striker.

He’s also on the trail of a goalkeeper as cover for Danny Roberts after trialist Daniel Lloyd-Weston, who made a full appearance for Leek at Woodley Sports last week, decided to resurrect his footballing career in Greece.

Meanwhile, leading scorer Dan Cope is due to speak to his consultant on Monday (8 Aug) to firm up a date to carry out key-hole surgery on his damaged knee.

>>Staffs Senior Cup draw

Leek Town pulled out an attractive home tie in the first round of this season's Staffordshire Senior Cup.

Blues will face Stafford Rangers in the opening round, in a game that will pit Neil Baker against his former player, and now manager of Rangers, Greg Clowes.

The full draw is as follows:
Leek Town v Stafford Rangers
Burton Albion v Rocester
Market Drayton Town v Port Vale
Heath Hayes v Chasetown
Rushall Olympic v Stone Dominoes
Newcastle Town v Hednesford Town

Byes:
Kidsgrove Athletic
Stoke City

Ties to be played during week commencing 17th October 2011.

>>Away travel

Blues’ fans are reminded that the club will be running coaches to next week’s two away games and a limited number of seats will be available.

On Wednesday Leek travel to Hucknall Town (£5) whilst the following Saturday they make the trip to Grantham Town (£8). For further information please contact 01538 386 356.

Blues Motown and Northern Soul night success
Leek Town’s latest fund-raising event proved to be a great success when around 90 enthusiasts turned up for their Motown and Northern Blues night.

Blues’ players were joined in the Blues Bar by local music lovers after the final pre-season game of the season on Saturday.

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