MARK Grimley is a happy man after signing two of his three main summer targets.
The Uttoxeter Town boss has been busy over the last couple of weeks, bringing in no fewer than eight new faces.
But he is most pleased with the capture of former Port Vale defender Doug Price, and winger Ollie Mellor from Ball Haye Green.
Price, 19, joins his two brothers, Harry and Brad, at the Racecourse and Grimley hailed it as a “coup”.
“We had three major targets at the start of the summer – and we got two of them,” he said
“Doug is a local lad, and he’s been released as a professional by Port Vale.
“Both of his brothers are with us but it was still an amazing coup for the football club.
“He turned down offers for a lot of money with other clubs.
“He’s a centre-back but we are looking at him in a holding midfield role.”
Mellor is another promising youngster, who has just finished university and has been one of the stars of Leek Cricket Club over the past few years, in addition to his footballing exploits.
“Ollie played in a match against Ball Haye Green last year and was exceptional,” said Grimley.
“He hasn’t been able to train much yet because of his cricket, but he is a real talent.
“He’s very direct, got good pace and we’re hoping to get him into games, because then he will be dangerous.”
Though Grimley missed out on his third target – someone with a few years Midland League experience who has had an offer to play higher up the pyramid - the player in question is keeping Uttoxeter in mind if things do not work out for him.
In addition, Uttoxeter have brought in left-back George Marshman, ex-Stapenhill centre-half Jamie Brown, former Rocester left-back John Littler, attacking midfielder Pat Taylor, centre-half Ryan Cook and goalkeeper Wes Hopwood, once of Stafford Rangers.
“They’ve all been training and look sharp,” said Grimley.
The club begin their pre-season friendlies campaign tonight when they travel to Norton reserves, kick-off 7.45pm.
“It’ll be a steady one that,” said Grimley.
“And we’ve got four other friendlies between now and the start of the season.
“Our fitness guy Luke has been putting the lads through their paces.
“Some of the lads in the Under-18s team have been doing exceptionally well, and some have played in the reserve team recently.
“And the reserve team themselves are looking good - they lost to Sandbach at the weekend who are a very good side.
“That was a very good test for them, and some first-team players who haven’t had much training so far this summer were involved in that game.”
Uttoxeter have also been boosted by the news that former chairman Peter Douglas will sponsor the home kit for the new season, while Hill and Webster will sponsor the away kit.
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