It has been a difficult few seasons for EvoStik side Belper Town but they looked to have turned the corner with some significant changes at Marston’s Stadium.
A statement on the club’s official website says, “Following a month of departures that left the club without a team manager and minus three directors, in stepped Dave Laughlin who had spent last season away from operational activities, but has always remained connected with the club.
Now as Managing Director, he has galvanised the Nailers in the few weeks since the close of last season and swiftly appointed Grant Black as team manager assisted by Mick Norbury.
They in turn wasted no time in recruiting players (see list below) who they believe can compete very well in the new Eastern Division One, and an informal gathering took place at the ‘Marston’s’ last Saturday morning when no less than eight new players put pen to paper and committed themselves to next season as Belper Town players.
All players have experience at a similar level or above and Black has left the door wide open for last season’s squad to take part in pre-season training that starts on 3 July.
With exception of Mick Norbury who spent a short time at Belper in 2002 under Gary Marrow, all the other members of the management team and the majority of the players will be new to the Marston’s Stadium, and they were all very impressed with the facilities as they were shown around the stadium.
Black is confident of recruiting a goalkeeper within a few days and will assess his needs further when he knows which of last season’s squad turn up for pre-season.
Meanwhile Dave Laughlin is working tirelessly to create new income streams to help pay for the not inconsiderable cost of running a club at this level, and he is close to announcing the arrival of two local businessmen to boost the number of directors remaining on the board.
The club have arranged a number of attractive friendly games that they hope will be well attended, starting with a home game against Tamworth on Friday 20th July.
Tuesday 17th July 2018 v Tamworth – K.O. 7:45PM (H)
Friday 20th July 2018 v Handsworth Parramore – K.O. 7:45PM (H)
Thursday 26th July 2018 v Worsborough – K.O. 7:45PM (A)
Saturday 28th July 2018 v Goole AFC – K.O. 3:00PM (A)
Saturday 4th August 2018 v Coalville – K.O.3:00PM (H)
Tuesday 7th August 2018 v Chesterfield XI – K.O. 7:30PM (H)
Saturday 11th August 2018 v Matlock Town (Caroline Melbourne Trophy K.O. 3:00PM) – (H)
Dave Laughlin has also put out an appeal for volunteers to join the club for the forthcoming season, and it’s worth emphasizing that the lifeblood of any club is its volunteers who perform a variety of vital tasks on a match day.
In another move that benefits both clubs, Belper United have been invited back to play their home games at the ‘Marston’s’. It is understood that the Belper club who were forced to play their home games at the Asterdale Bowl, Borrowash, have signed a long term agreement to resume playing in Belper again.
There is much to look forward to at the ‘Marston’s’ this coming season and the events following the end of last season have brought about a very positive attitude to the way the club is run, both on and off the field.
Belper Town – Management Team and Registered Players (2 June 2018)
Grant Black – Team Manager – Previous clubs include Ossett Town, Buxton & Matlock.
Mick Norbury – Assistant Manager – Previous clubs include Ossett Town, Cambridge United, Preston North End and Doncaster Rovers.
Keith Mackie – Coach/Scout – Previous clubs include Ossett Town, Barnsley and Leeds United (Recruitment/Scouting).
Danny Gordon – Centre Midfield – Previous clubs include Heanor Town, Mickleover Sports and Ilkeston Town.
Jake Ellam – Midfielder – Previous clubs include Ossett Town, Goole AFC and Tadcaster.
Alex Peterson – Striker (and Captain) – Previous clubs include Ossett Town and Doncaster Rovers.
Ricky Paylor – Midfielder – Previous clubs include Bridlington , Ossett Town & Barton.
Nathan Curtis – Wide Midfielder – Previous clubs include Scarborough, Ossett Town and Goole AFC.
Darryl Lucas – Right Full Back – Previous clubs include Ossett Town.
Jordan Deacey – Centre Midfield – Previous clubs include North Ferriby and Ossett Town.
Steve Ridley – Midfield – Previous clubs include Lincoln United, Ossett Town and Scunthorpe.
Kane Bingley – Centre Midfield – Previous clubs include Ossett Town and Doncaster Rovers.
Credit to Tim Harrison for the photo
Left to right – Jake Ellam, Danny Gordon, Grant Black (Manager), Mick Norbury (Assistant manager), Alex Peterson, Ricky Paylor, Nathan Curtis, Keith Mackie (Coach).”