Paul Moore, manager of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North club Clitheroe, has been busy during.the close season as he looks to strengthen the Shawbridge ranks ahead of the new campaign.
The Blues finished last season in eighth position with a points tally of seventy-three – a club record haul at this level of football.
And Moore hopes to see further progression during the coming season and believes he and assistant-manager Dave Hughes are moulding a useful squad for the battles ahead.
“Dave and I have worked very hard since the end of last season and have managed to agree terms with some great new lads,” he said.
“We believe we have recruited very well so far and have a squad of players at our disposal that is capable of achieving our targets this coming year.
“We will be ready for the campaign ahead and the current squad of players are happy with what we want to achieve when things get underway in August.”
Moore is also pleased to have retained the services of influential midfielder Simon Nangle and last season’s leading goalscorer Daley Woods, who have both received admiring glances from other clubs.
And the former Warrington Town boss believes keeping such players, combined with some exciting new talent which he has brought on board will serve the Blues well going forward.
“I can confirm that both Simon and Daley received good offers from elsewhere but they have decided to stay at Shawbridge,” he added.
“They both stated how they enjoy it here and it obviously goes without saying I am absolutely delighted with this.
“I believe with our existing players from last season together with the lads we have agreed to bring in, we have pace out wide, goalscorers and a very steady defence.
“I am encouraged for the season ahead and excited at where we could go.”
However, Moore has had to contend with the a number of departures over the close season with Lee Pugh, Hakan Burton, Chris Smalley and Danny Mahoney all departing Shawbridge.
Pugh has joined Conference North champions Chester FC, while Smalley links up with Tony Hesketh at new league rivals Northwich Victoria and Burton heads to another league rival, Curzon Ashton.
And while Moore is disappointed to see players leave, he wishes all his former charges well for the future.
“I would like to put on record how fantastic Pughie and Hakan were last season and I thank them both for their contribution to our successful campaign,” he added.
“We signed Danny just after losing Alex Johnson and he gave us a big lift and I will never forget his goal at New Mills.
“Smalls explained to me he felt he needed a change and he leaves with a heavy heart – he was very professional and never gave anything other than 100% in a Clitheroe shirt.
“I wish all the lads the very best in the future.”
The departure of Pugh sees the captain’s armband pass to former Rushden & Diamonds centre half Jack Higgins, who Moore believes will thrive in the role next term.
“Jack was an ever-present for us last season and we believe he has shown all the qualities to go forward as captain," he said.