Plenty of choice for Heanor Town bosses for opening game

Heanor Town bosses Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins will have plenty of players to choose from for Saturday’s opening league game.

Three new summer signings have been added to the squad for the first game of the 2012/13 Northern Counties East League Premier Division campaign at Retford United.

Goalkeeper Simon Lillie has joined the club from Holbrook Sports; Matt Baxter, a defender who has seen service with Hucknall Town and Stamford; and Ian Clarke, a midfielder previously with Matlock Town and Staveley Miners Welfare, who should also know his way around Canon Park having also had a spell at Retford United.

The squad for the first two league outings will probably be Simon Lillie, Neil West, Jason Foster, Brett Peel (captain), Nico Degirolamo, Phil Austin, Lee Stevenson, Gary Webster, Carl Slater, Matt Baxter, Ian Clarke, Daniel Fields, Stef Frost, Graham Wells, Nathan Benger, Josh Royce, Jake Vernon, Neil Grayson and Adam Nicholls.

It was the latter who scored the Lions’ goal in a 1-1 pre-season friendly draw at Sutton Town last Tuesday, but it is veteran striker Neil Grayson who has emerged as the Lions leading scorer from their pre-season encounters so far.

A hastily arranged game at Quorn last Thursday, a venue which the Lions also staged their fifth and final warm up game on Tuesday last, also ended with honours shared as a result of a 2-2 draw, with Neil Grayson getting both of the Heanor goals.

What was for all intents and purposes a behind closed doors game against a strong Derby County XI at Moor Farm last Saturday morning, ended up being witnessed by quite a large gathering from Heanor.

The Lions lost 4-3 to their hosts in an excellent game with Jason Foster, Jake Vernon and once again Neil Grayson scoring for them.