Frickley Continue To Build

By Tom Snee

Two more sign on the dotted line

Frickley Athletic have signed the highly rated former Rotherham United defender Stuart Ludlam from Stocksbridge Park Steels.

The 25 year old is a 6’0 tall athletic defender and becomes manager Peter Rinkcavage’s fifth signing of the summer so far.

Assistant manager Jason Maybury said that the club were delighted to welcome the defender to the club. Maybury said, “Stuart can play either centre half or right back and is very accomplished in both positions. He will add pace and aggression to our defending and he is a good organiser too. He is just the type of character we want to bring to the club. At 25 he is a good age with a lot of experience at this level and above.”

Maybury added, “We are close to where we want to be in terms of the squad and we are looking forward to getting started next week. We have signed some good players and hopefully they will compliment the players we have kept from last season. We have a good competition for places now so it’s up to all the players to show us what they can do.”

Frickley return for pre-season training on Thursday 30th June.

The club have also rewarded goalkeeper Ben Simpson with a contract that ties the 25 year old to the club for the next two years. It follows an outstanding season in which Simpson established himself as the club’s number 1 goalkeeper.

Rinkcavage said, “Ben has been superb since I came to the club. He had waited a long time for a chance in the first team and when it came he took it, literally, with both hands. He is 6’3”, can kick the ball for miles and he is a great shot stopper but what stands out above all that is he is a great character to have around the club. For a young goalkeeper he is very passionate about the game and his own performances. He is one of the rare goalkeepers who sticks his hand up if he has made a mistake, but he is also not afraid to voice his opinion in the changing room if he feels people are not pulling their weight.”

The Blues’ boss added, “I believe the lad can play higher than this level if he continues to develop like he has in the last year. It is a little known fact that last season we had the second best defensive home record in the league. Only Halifax let in less goals than us at home. Given our final league position that is remarkable and much of it was down to Ben. If we were a pro’ club the contract offered to him would have been for 3 or 4 years given how highly we rate him.”

Simpson initially joined Frickley in August 2009 from Brigg Town and played regularly at the start of the season until suffering an injury which saw Adam Nicklin reclaim the goalkeeper’s jersey. However, he returned to the club in March 2010 and was the club’s first choice goalkeeper from mid-September last season, and made a number of important saves to help the club avoid relegation.

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