Ahead of the new season, Ruth Tunnell has been finding out what our opponents have been up to over the summer. Here’s part three of her National League notes…
The Imps have appointed former Concord Rangers and Braintree Town manager Danny Cowley this summer. Despite combining his management duties with his part time job as a PE teacher, Cowley has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years.
He led Concord to three promotions and then took part- time Braintree Town to the play offs in the National League back in May despite Iron having one of the smallest budgets in the league.
Cowley has immediately moved to sign Adam Woodyard who was a midfielder during this time with Braintree Town. Also joining the Imps this summer is striker Adam Marriott who comes in after an injury plagued time at Stevenage and winger Nathan Arnold. Arnold scored during Grimsby Town’s win at Wembley back in May to gain promotion to the Football League but thanks to a fund raising campaign by Lincoln’s fans, Arnold has elected to stay in the National League with the Imps.
Macclesfield are one of a number of football league clubs in the National League. They were relegated back to the Conference in 2012 and last season they finished in 10th position.
John Askey is the manager of the Silkmen and this summer he has brought in a new assistant manager. Joining Macclesfield is former Newcastle United and Everton defender Steve Watson.
Another arrival this summer is goal keeper Craig Ross. After Shwan Jalal opted to join Wrexham, Askey has brought in Ross who was with Whitehawk last season. This is to give competition for the number one position as keeper Ritchie Branagan is also with the club.
After a dramatic win on penalties over local rivals Ebbsfleet in the play-off final last season and a busy summer off the pitch as a new playing surface has been laid at the Gallagher Stadium, matters with regards to the squad this summer have been relatively quieter for the Stones.
Defender Manny Parry has left to go to Margate but at the back, Jay Saunders has made a few signings. Kevin Lokko has comes in from Welling who were relegated from the National League last season and Anthony Acheampong has arrived from Ebbsfleet. Also returning to the club is Ben Greenhalgh for his third spell with Maidstone after a season with National League South side Concord Rangers.
Also joining the Stones is Tom Murphy, who was with Dover Athletic for three seasons, and Jack Evans who was on the books of Eastbourne Borough last season.
North Ferriby United
Like the Stones, North Ferriby United were also promoted via the play-offs. They beat AFC Fylde 2-1 in extra time thanks to a goal from Danny Hone in the National League North final.
Following promotion, manager Bill Heath chose to join Halifax Town and so the Villagers have appointed Steve Housham. Housham has previously managed Gainsborough Trinity and took them to the North play-offs as well as a FA Trophy semi-final. He will be assisted by striker Darryn Stamp who will continue to be registered as a player for North Ferriby United.
The Villagers have been adding to their squad over recent weeks. Rory Watson, who is a keeper, comes in on a season long loan from Hull City and midfielder Connor Oliver was previously with Blackpool. Also joining is striker Vinny Mukendi who spent time with Oxford City last season.
Solihull are another newly promoted side after winning the National League North.
They claimed the title with three games to go and following Kidderminster Harriers’ relegation last season, the Moors are now the highest ranked non-league side in the midlands. This is an impressive achievement considering they only formed nine years ago following a merger between Solihull Borough and Moor Green.
During the summer Solihull offered a one year contract to defender Nat Kelly. Former Aston Villa and QPR striker Stefan Moore, who has been with the Moors since December 2014, has also been given a one year deal. Meanwhile, new players arriving at Solihull include Worcester City keeper Nathan Vaughan and Redditch midfielder Jamey Osborne.
The Sandgrounders were promoted to the National League in 2010 and since then have become an established top-tier side. They finished last season in 16th place having taken 55 points from 46 matches.
Southport have signed two players from league rivals Barrow this summer. Ashely Grimes, who is a 29 year old midfielder comes in and he has previously spent time with both Manchester United and Manchester City. Full back Neil Ashton also makes the switch from Holker Street whilst Tyrell Belford has joined the Sandgrounders on a season long loan from Swindon Town.