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Chatfield hopes summer business will boost momentum

The Bulls management at last summer's pre-season clash with Clipstone. [Image: Dan Westwell]

The gaffer believes the Bulls' upturn in form can continue at the beginning of the new league campaign with the aid of new arrivals.

Matt Chatfield initiated summer business nearly two weeks ago with the return of title-winning forward Lynton Karkach.

The 23-year-old, who earned consecutive promotions from the NCEL with the Bulls and Worksop Town, marked the beginning of his second spell at the Forest Town Arena with a one-year deal.

"I was really delighted to bring Lynton back to the club," Chatfield said, "we'd identified areas of the pitch we felt needed more competition and then put a list together of players we thought were the most effective, and Lynton was top of the list.

"He's already done a lot in the game and has some great experience, but still fits in with the club’s ethos of bringing younger players to the club.

"I'm hoping himself and a couple of others will help guide the team to start looking at the top half of the table."

With further transfers lined up, the gaffer hopes that the new arrivals will only boost the momentum gained towards the end of the expunged season.

AFC averaged nearly two points per league game since the turn of the year, beating the likes of Staveley and Hemsworth.

"We finished the season well and looked to be climbing up the table with pace, we got some great results against some of the top sides.

"The majority of the squad will be kept on and naturally we will be looking at players who will strengthen the side, but they've got to add value because the squad has been getting better game by game."

With no promotions from Step 5 this season, three promotion places in the NCEL Premier Division may still be up for grabs – should that be the case, Chatfield fancies his side's chances: "I think we will have a chance to push for those spots next season when it is safe to commence.

"To be honest, it was a shame because I think the teams in the promotion places deserved to go up and, in my opinion, the most logical thing was to decide on points per game, but the FA decided otherwise and we can't change the outcome now."

Chatfield recently celebrated his first full year at the helm, formally joining the Bulls on 12 May last year.

He said he has "loved every minute" so far.

"From the chairman down to the youngsters we are trying to get the club back to being a club instead of a first team, we have a three year plan of what we are trying to achieve both on and off the pitch.

"Stage one is to meet the ground requirements for Step 4 while setting up an U21 side and U18 side which we are doing this season.

"We have plans in place for an exciting new journey for the club, so there will be much more to come hopefully in the next two years and beyond."

The Bulls boss brought along with him former Frickley number two John Stancliffe, ex-Chesterfield striker Andy Morris and assistant physiotherapist Lucy Owens, for all of whom Chatfield had plenty of praise.

Bulls coach and ex-Football League striker Andy Morris served under Chatfield at FC Bolsover. [Image: Dan Westwell]

"Stan (Stancliffe) and Bruno (Morris) are two very different people who complement the staff perfectly,” Chatfield said, "we already had Jason (head physio) and Fahad (goalkeeping coach) at the club who both have been fantastic.

"Stan was someone I met at Frickley and got on with, he seems to have the same picture in mind of how to play and also backs up what needs to be done, whilst Bruno is one of my best mates who I can trust with everything.

"Bruno's an ex-pro who knows the game having played it, and is also finishing his A Licence which in the coaching side gives us that extra percentage when preparing for games and training.

"Lucy came with us from Bolsover and she has been brilliant helping the lads with recovery and rehab for those injured players.

"It's a great coaching team and we all can't wait to get back out onto the grass."


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