Old and new faces join Sleaford Town’s UCL survival fight

Liam Tunstall in action for Sleaford in 2015 EMN-200901-160720002
Liam Tunstall in action for Sleaford in 2015 EMN-200901-160720002

The fat lady may not yet have sung on Sleaford Town’s survival hopes after the club announced a rash of signings on and off the pitch.

Late last Tuesday Chris Morley and Mike were unveiled as new assistant managers to work with boss Jamie Shaw.

Luke Hollingworth returns after a season away EMN-200901-160902002

Luke Hollingworth returns after a season away EMN-200901-160902002

Within 24 hours the club had confirmed the return of former Green Army players Liam Tunstall and Joe Braithwaite, and on Thursday, the arrivals were joined by another familiar face, Luke Hollingworth, and fitness coach Joe Sewell.

Morley has helped to spark the player recruitment, but Shaw believes the call to arms had already begun among the network of Town old boys keen to revive the club’s flagging fortunes.

“We’ve managed to attract a number of players with ties to the club and the town, and Chris has been instrumental in this,” he explained.

“The players themselves in many instances had been speaking with each other and wanted to come back and help us attempt to climb the table because of their connection to the club.”

Town boss Jamie Shaw EMN-200901-161128002

Town boss Jamie Shaw EMN-200901-161128002

The workload on Shaw has been on the extreme side of heavy for the opening four months of the season.

A heavily depleted squad has forced him to mix his many and varied managerial duties with spells on the pitch as full-back, goalkeeper and his more accustomed role as striker.

The recruitment mirrors the situation at Eslaforde Park two seasons ago when Shaw first took the job and had to rebuild a decimated squad.

Then Town started their league campaign with 13 defeats out of 15 and sat in the relegation places for most of the season until a new year recovery ultimately preserved their Premier Division status.

Their position this season, however, is worse, with just one point and 94 goals conceded from their first 18 matches.

They lie 16 points adrift of fourth-bottom Oadby, and the great escape may take a stretch of the imagination at present.

But there is pride to play for as a starting point, with potential further signings still on the horizon.

Morley comes to the club having worked most recently with Paul Rawdon and Russ Cousins at Grantham Town, while Allsebrook has been involved as a coach at Leicester City’s academy.

“Chris is somebody I’ve known for a long time, having initially met him when we played cricket together 20 years ago.

“He was looking for the opportunity to take on more responsibility and being a local lad, Sleaford Town is a club close to him.

“He’s a really hard-working and enthusiastic coach and also has a great range of contacts in local football.

“Shaw added: “Michael approached me as he was wanting to get involved in senior football and is a top coach.

“He will be working hard on the training ground to keep us on an upward curve and also has player contacts that will benefit the club going forward.

“Both will add lots of value and a different perspective to mine which will mean we are able to look at continually improving the players at our disposal and therefore our results.”