EVERY one of last season’s third-placed squad with the exception of Adam Kay, who is working abroad, and Tom Norris, who is injured following an operation on his foot, has reported back for pre-season training with Heanor Town, and that bears great testimony to the club’s management and the club itself.
The squad enjoyed a pre-season game on the luscious Moor Farm Training Centre of Derby County last Wednesday evening. The £20,000 newly-laid pitch was a perfect setting described by Joint Manager Glenn Kirkwood as “the best he has ever seen”.
And despite the 10-4 defeat to the young Rams Kirkwood claimed that, “It was the best training session he had ever put on.”
Ash Grayson put the Lions ahead inside the first half minute and Dan Williams, Nathan Benger and Dave Moon were the club’s other scorers.
Last Saturday Heanor went to the impressive Inkersall Road ground of newly-promoted Staveley MW for their second pre-season game and came away with a most creditable 3-3 draw.
Perhaps the most disappointing factor of this game was that the Lions failed to hold onto a 3-1 interval lead which had disintegrated within six minutes of the start of the second half helped by the most dubious of penalty awards.
Mark Littlewood, who spent last season with now-defunct Gedling Town, and Darren Cartwright who was with Matlock Town last term, joined a most familiar Heanor squad for the game.
And another who appears to hanker after a return to the club is Jordan Leeming, one of Jamie Bennett’s young stars who left the club two years ago to take up a scholarship in America.
The Lions team at Staveley was: Neil West, Mark Littlewood, Darren Cartwright (Danny Cox 66), Jamie Gee-Pemberton, Brett Peel, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster, Ash Grayson (Jordan Leeming 82), Dan Williams (Lee Naughton 60), Dave Moon, Graham Wells (Nathan Benger 60). The unused substitute was Ebriham Mirmohammedi.
Goalscorers for the Lions were Gary Webster (13 minutes), Dave Moon (35 minutes) and Dan Williams (43 minutes). Staveley’s first leveller came from Damms on 27 minutes and parity was later restored by goals from Barraclough from the penalty spot on 49 minutes and Eagers two minutes later.
The Lions visited Gresley FC last Tuesday for their third pre-season game and the management were searching for a goalkeeper with Mark Frost on holiday and Neil West unavailable. But Lee Askham, Phil Austin, and Ryan Cancellara should all be available to join up with the squad.
Heanor’s game at Pinxton, originally scheduled for this Saturday has provisionally been switched to Friday evening kick off 7.45pm. But there is a doubt as to whether this game will go on so supporters are asked to check before travelling with either club officials or the club’s website.
On Tuesday 26th July Heanor will visit Arnold Town (7.45pm), and providing clearance comes through in time, will journey to Stapenhill (3pm) a week on Saturday.
An additional game has been arranged away to Glapwell (7.45pm) on Tuesday, August 9.
James Whitehead, a most popular member of the playing staff last season, but who retired from the game at the end of last season, has been appointed club coach. A most popular appointment with both players and supporters.