New man Charlie Russell is the first of many, says Clitheroe boss Phil Brown

Clitheroe midfielder Charlie Russell in possession
Clitheroe midfielder Charlie Russell in possession

The return of Charlie Russell will be the first of many new faces through the door at Shawbridge, says new Clitheroe FC boss Phil Brown.

The midfielder, who rejoins the club from Lancaster City, is the first signing of Brown’s tenure and the move will see the pair reunited.

They were together at the Giant Axe Stadium, when Russell switched from the Ribble Valley 12 months ago, having already been at Stockport County at the same time under Alan Lord’s stewardship in 2015.

“Charlie is very passionate, he’s a winner and I know I can trust him,” said Brown. “He gives 100% in everything he does. That’s just his character.

“He will represent the club in a way that we expect it to be represented and he’s got high expectations of himself. He’s a good character to have in the team.

“He’s a good player. He was at Blackburn Rovers for a period of time, I took him to Stockport County and he came with me to Lancaster City.

“He played in the Premier Division last season so he really fits in to what we are trying to do. He’s got energy in his legs and in terms of his mentality. He’s a player that I enjoy working with.”

Brown is only intent on keeping hold of a handful of players from the squad that saw out last season under Lee Ashforth.

Jacob and Josh Gregory have reportedly made the cut alongside Hyuga Tanner and 19-year-old Cole Lonsdale.

However, the head of Myerscough College’s football academy, who appointed Dave McCann as his right hand man, has made progress in his recruitment drive.

“It’s going well,” said Brown. “The squad is starting to take shape. We’ve been contacting players who will fit in to what we’re trying to do.

“We’ve still got quite a bit of work to do, but we knew we had a big job on our hands. We needed to recruit quite a lot of players so we’re working through that.

“We’ve agreed terms with quite a few players, though they’re technically not a Clitheroe FC player until they can be registered in early July.”

He added: “I’m still optimistic we’ll get the men we want. I don’t think any of our targets will go back on their word.

“But, even then, we still need to get a few more in to strengthen. I’m looking to operate with a squad of around 18 to 20 and 13/14 of those will be new faces.

“Many from last season’s squad won’t be returning for different reasons, but that’s the nature of the beast. It’s going to be a complete makeover, we’ve only invited 4/5 players back for pre-season of those that I’ve spoken to.”

l The club will once again be freezing prices on season tickets for the 2019/20 season.

Pre-season prices are again £125 for adults (usually £140), and £75 for concessions (usually £85).

They will be available to purchase at the club’s AGM on June 13th, at any of the friendlies and Banana News throughout the summer.