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Shaw: level irrelevant to player recruitment

05/04/14 Rocester v Highgate Utd - Rocester, Uttoxeter
Rocester v Highgate,Manager Dave Shaw

05/04/14 Rocester v Highgate Utd - Rocester, Uttoxeter Rocester v Highgate,Manager Dave Shaw

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DAVE Shaw says which division Rocester are in next season will have no effect on the players he is trying to bring to Hillsfield.

The Romans are due to join the newly formed Midland League, a merger of the Midland Alliance and Midland Combination.

It is not yet decided whether they will join the Premier Division or Division One.

But wherever they end up will make no difference to the players Shaw has targeted.

“We’ve still not heard anything about which division we’ll be in,” said the Rocester boss, who took over midway through a difficult campaign for the club.

“I’m looking at the same players whatever league we’re in.”

Shaw is optimistic that Rocester will merit a place in the Premier Division thanks to their facilities, history and standing – but will not be counting his chickens until an announcement is made.

“My inkling from what I’ve been reading and heard is that it’s possible we could stay up,” he said.

“I can’t set my hopes on it until it’s actually confirmed, but from what I’m hearing from different places, we could be all right.”

Shaw has chatted with around 20 players since the end of the season to see if they want to join his Hillsfield revolution – and is hopeful of retaining the services of his top names already at Rocester.

“One or two will be coming training,” said the former Rocester striker, who was part of the team which won the Staffordshire Senior Cup in 2008.

“I’ve been on to about 20 players and if we can get three or four of them we’ll be doing well.

“From the lads I’ve spoken to here most of them want to stay.

“Only a couple haven’t got back to me.”

One of the players who wants to stay, crucially, is goal machine Dan Brown.

He netted 11 goals in half a season and had he been at the club for the whole season Rocester would have made more of a fist of staying up.

“I’m good friends with Dan off the pitch,” said Shaw. “He’s always on the phone seeing what’s happening.

“With him working at the JCB Academy (as head of PE), playing for Rocester is ideal.

“He’s turned down two offers this summer already to go and play elsewhere and is definitely staying.”

Another player staying is midfielder Tom Ellerton, who had been linked with a return to former club Stapenhill.

Star midfielder George Barlow is also set to remain at Hillsfield.

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