Signings and friendlies are announced by Alfreton Town

Alfreton Town manager Billy Heath has expressed his delight after retaining 11 of his first-team squad and says he’s now looking forward to the getting the new National League North season started.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 10:39 am
Billy Heath has managed to re-sign several of last season's squad in preparation for the new campaign.
Billy Heath has managed to re-sign several of last season's squad in preparation for the new campaign.

It has been announced that Dan Bradley, Dom Smith, Josh Clackstone, Elliott Reeves, Bobby Johnson, George Willis, Harvey Grice, Connor Branson, Adam Lund, Teddy Unwin-Marris and James Jones have all agreed to stay at the club and the Reds boss says he is pleased with the business done so far.

“We had a long time to think about who we wanted to retain and who were prepared not to,” he said.

“We’re pleased with the 11 that have committed to the club and the loyalty that they’ve shown in difficult times and we’re pleased to get those players on board.”

Having completed just one full season since becoming the Reds boss in 2018, Heath admitted that he is happy to have kept the core group of players together, rather than seeing a wholesale amount of changes to the squad like in previous seasons.

He said: “I felt it was important factor to keep the squad together. We had a couple of seasons before where we had a big turnover of players.

"The key to any successful team is some consistency and when I spoke to the chairman, it was massively important that we tried to keep the core of the team with us.

“That’s difficult at times but the players that we’ve kept have got a lot of experience in this league. I think with four or five additions to the squad, we’ll have a very competitive squad for next season.”

After a frustrating season with many postponements and cancellations to fixtures due to Covid-19, the Reds prepare for a fresh start with pre-season on the horizon and five fixtures have already been confirmed.

The Reds will host Chesterfield on Saturday, July 17, Mansfield Town on Friday, July 23, Burton Albion on Tuesday, July 27, Grimsby Town on Tuesday, August 3 and King's Lynn on Saturday, August 7 as they get ready for the forthcoming National League North campaign and Heath cannot wait to get football going again.

The ex-North Ferriby boss added: “I think everybody cannot wait to get started and play some football again.

"Managers, players, every club has people champing at the bit to get started. I don’t read anything into last season.

“I think from start to finish it was a non-entity. It never felt like a real season. No fans in for me was like a non-entity.

“We continued for as long as we could but it just didn’t feel like a real season. I spoke to a lot of players and managers who have said the same thing.

“No atmosphere to it and it was very sterile. We can’t wait to get back with our fans in the ground to get off to a good start next season and hopefully have a very positive campaign.”