Blues boss Phil Brown is pleased with progress in the transfer window

Paul Dugdale (right)
Paul Dugdale (right)

Clitheroe manager Phil Brown is pleased with the progress that has been made during the transfer window so far as his recruitment drive continues to gather pace.

The former Lancaster City boss is close to bringing business to a close after taking his number of summer signings to nine.

Lee Ashforth’s successor at Shawbridge recently welcomed 31-year-old full back Paul Dugdale to the club, while teenage defender Olly Muir and goalkeeper Connor King also joined the Blues in time for the start of pre-season.

“We’re working through it slowly but surely,” said Brown. “We’re going through each unit and ensuring that we’re getting the right players on board.

“We’ve brought nine in now, four more are staying on from last season, and we’ve got a couple more lined up.

“There’s still quite a bit of work to do, but I’m happy with where we are at this moment in time.

“We need to sign about 14 players in total, we’re over halfway there, and we’re still awaiting responses from other targets.”

The aforementioned trio will team up with attacking midfielder Terry Cummings, former England C international Craig Stanley, winger Jake Connelly, forward Jordan Darr, versatile attacker Conor Gaul and midfielder Charlie Russell.

Jacob and Josh Gregory have also been retained from last season’s squad, alongside Hyuga Tanner and 19-year-old Cole Lonsdale.

“I’ve signed these lads to play,” said Brown.

“I’ve not brought them in to be squad players.

“It’s up to them now to show me what they’ve got in training.

“They’ve got to prove that they’re good enough for the XI.

“They are all good players and the club has been inundated with positivity from the fans regarding the signings we’ve made.

“There are a couple of others that we’ve agreed terms with, so we just need to get those over the line now.

“There are more coming in for pre-season as well.

“It’s a chance for us to have a look at them, and for the players to have a look at us.

“Some targets have other options, so they’re still weighing things up.

“There’s work to be done, but we’re well prepared.

“We’re really looking forward to getting the season underway.

“We won’t be the finished article, we’ll be a work in progress, but we’ll be ready for it.”

l Clitheroe have slashed season-ticket prices to £50 as part of a ‘Back the Blues’ campaign.

The club has reduced prices of an adult season ticket at Shawbridge by 60% in a move to offer affordable football to the town.

Supporters taking up the offer can save over £100 on individual match-day prices for the 19 home games of the 2019/20 league season. Concessions will be priced at £30 – with season-ticket holders also set to receive discounts at the bar – while the club will continue to offer free entry to members of Clitheroe Wolves and also plans to give free tickets to local school children.

The cut-price scheme has been introduced by the Blues’ board as part of a summer shake-up designed to revive the club’s fortunes on and off the field.

Clitheroe narrowly avoided relegation last season from Evo-Stik North/West Division level.

But with a new manager in place in Phil Brown, and several exciting new signings already secured, steps have been taken to bring back the winning feeling.

And the club is now doing everything possible to attract more supporters and put the Blues at the heart of the town.

Clitheroe FC chairman Lee Sharples said: “I think this is a fantastic offer which will hopefully encourage more people to come and back the Blues.

“We want to give a bit back to those who have continued to support the team and also attract new fans to get behind Phil and the players.

“Everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome at Shawbridge and while there may have been something of a dis-connect between the town and the club in recent times, we believe offering such good-value tickets is an important step towards reaching out to the local community again and building a club we can all call our own.”

Brown joins the Blues with a promotion-winning pedigree from his time as manager of Lancaster City and is looking forward to a new era at Shawbridge.

He said: “This is a superb initiative from the board which will hopefully bring a really positive response from the town.

“I believe we are putting together an exciting squad that will play positive football and be really competitive in the division.

“We want Clitheroe to be proud of the players and their team and for supporters to enjoy coming to watch them play.

“We will be giving everything as a team to try and be successful and we look forward to moving forward together with as many fans as possible who want to back the Blues.”

Season tickets – which will also give supporters free entry to home pre-season games and youth and under-21 fixtures – will be available to buy this coming Saturday at Shawbridge when Clitheroe hosts a special fund-raising game for Clitheroe Wolves.

The game between a team of coaches from the various Wolves sides and a team of Wolves ‘Legends’ kicks-off at 2pm, with proceeds going to the Wolves’ Highmoor Project.

Season tickets will also be available from Banana News in Clitheroe town centre and the club’s official website

Anyone who has already bought a ticket at the earlier advertised price will receive a refund of the difference by contacting club treasurer Andrew Jackson.

Meanwhile, new club leisure wear will also be available to order from the bar at Shawbridge at Saturday’s game.