With a new season approaching, the routine will change a little for Norton United of Burslem. A new league, a new high in their illustrious, successful 25 year tenure as a non-league club.
The EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Division One South awaits Scott Dundas’ boys, but after a competitive season and a squad of energy, talent and enthusiasm the club will feel confident about finding their feet in a new neck of the woods. The club have made five acquisitions to the squad and there seems to be the ‘perfect fit’ between experience and players with the momentum of winning promotion.
Norton’s five new signings:
Mickey Lennon – Plenty of NPL experience at Hednesford, Nantwich, Newcastle Town and Leek. His spell at Kidsgrove was magnificent where he scored 51 goals in his first season at The Seddon Stadium. The short term goal for Norton is to get Lennon settled and fit to get the best out of him. Lennon won’t be joining Norton knowing he’s a certainty in the starting eleven. It’ll take some superb form to displace the partnership of Skellern and Cropper.
Dan Cocks – Highly rated midfielder from Bacup in The North-West Counties League Premier Division. An average of 10.3 goals a season for Bacup shows Norton will have a bigger goal threat and perhaps won’t be laying as much pressure on Lennon, Cropper and Skellern.
John Sheldon – The words ‘local football’ spring to mind he’s been everywhere “Shelly.” Leek Town, Newcastle Town, Stafford Rangers are among some of his former clubs. After an unsettled last outing, a good pre-season will serve Sheldon well. He is a left sided player and will slot in at left back or left midfield, however Ivan Lodge of Newcastle Town opted to try “Shelly” in a right midfield role at the end of last season. Versatility and experience is his game.
Glynn Blackhurst – Ex Nantwich, Alsager, Stafford and Newcastle Town midfielder.
Paul Taylor – Left back, 33 years of age, part of Nantwich’s FA Vase winning team, once on Port Vales books. Described as a ‘fantastic tackler’ by Nantwich and clearly will sure up a Norton defence that will perhaps have to be more wary than last season.
Aside from on the field though, Norton have some wonderful facilities and have really made a name for themselves this pre-season with around 2,000 fans attending the fixtures against Port Vale and Crewe. The club are extremely welcoming and friendly to anyone who visits as I’ve found out.
The structure of the club has enabled everybody to get on with their jobs, Steve Beaumont, Chairman has funded Scott Dundas with the means to get together a squad that will be extremely competitive in its biggest ever year as a football club.