GLAPWELL kick off their first ever UniBond League campaign on Saturday with a trip to Spalding United.
The village club achieved their Division One South status as runner-up to Winterton Rangers in the NCEL Premier Division last season, and are looking forward eagerly to bringing UniBond football to their homely Hall Corner ground.
It promises to be an exciting season for Les McJannet’s side, who seem to have recruited well for the higher level.
Latest arrival, on a month’s loan initially, is striker Danny Reet, for whom Mansfield paid Sheffield Wednesday 25,000 not too long ago.
Reet went on long term loan to Conference North Alfreton last season, and became a crowd favourite, signing permanent forms for the Reds when his release by the Stags nullified the loan deal. His arrival makes up for the absence of Ian Brown who misses the first few weeks of the season.
Also in from the Impact Arena is goalkeeper Laurence Matthewson, who is a former Manchester City youngster.
The agile 6ft 3ins keeper was a part of City’s team which reached the 2006 FA Youth Cup final, and also figured for City’s reserves in the 2006-07 season.
Although in the veteran stage, perhaps McJannet’s most significant capture is striker Neil Grayson from Stafford Rangers, where he was acting manager for a spell for the then Blue Square Premier club last season.
Grayson has had spells at Doncaster, York, Chesterfield and at Northampton where he helped the Cobblers win the then Division Three Play-offs. In non-League Grayson played for Hereford and was an instrumental member of the Cheltenham Town team which won promotion to the Football League.
Grayson’s son Ashley, a hugely promising youngster, has also signed from Notts Senior Cup finalists Ollerton Town.
And with further newcomers possible in the shape of former Brighton, Crawley Town and Sutton United defender Matt Ottley and midfielder Rocky White, well known and respected locally after long spells with both Matlock Town and Eastwood Town, also likely to come in, along with young striker Jake Williams who has been released by Chesterfield, McJannet will certainly have a strong squad for the new challenge.
Meanwhile Aaron Shelley is set to return to the club at the beginning of next month.
Defenders Paul Smith and Craig Gaunt have both quit because of work commitments, and striker Aaron Brady has made the short journey to Shirebrook Town.
Looking forward to the new campiagn, McJannet told Chad: “UniBond football will be a new experience for most of the players, and as managers for Kev Gee and myself although we have both played at this level.
“But we have a squad which is well capable of competing, and we may probably add to it as we go along. We are looking forward to it very much and can’t wait to get started.”
l A supporters’ coach leaves Hall Corner for Spalding at 11.30am on Saturday.