As the dust begins to settle on North Ferriby’s recent relegation from the National League, the preparations for life back in the National League North have began in earnest.
Manager Steve Housham and his assistant Darryn Stamp (below) who did a magnificent ‘against all odds’ job for the Villagers last season will again be at the helm to steer the team on an assault back into the highest echelons of non league football.
The duo performed miracles with a very small and young squad to take the relegation fight to the last few games of the season, when many pundits and detractors had the Villagers relegated before Christmas, but they and the team confounded many of the critics but ultimately came up just short.
Since the end of the season work has been going on feverishly to build on the positives from last season and make a real assault on the National League North. With this in mind Housham recently said “Me and Stampy want to keep our young, strong squad together. We are delighted to announce that positive talks have taken place an we have made offers to all players for next season”.
These talks have come to fruition in the last couple of days, with the club announcing three significant signings from last years squad.
Danny Emerton (pictured below celebrating promotion from NLN last time with Sam Shepherd) committed to another season yesterday. The classy attacking midfielder/winger has all the skills and trickery to terrorise any defence in the National League, never mind the NLN and will be a fantastic asset, with his abilty to get the ball in the box as well as having an eye for goal himself.
A quiet guy off the field, Danny certainly lets his feet do the talking on the pitch.
This morning the club announced another two important re-signings from last season’s squad.
A stalwart of the club though only 25 years old, centre back Mark Gray (below) will be staying at Church road to help the Villagers to hopefully another promotion.
Affectionately known as ‘The Beast’ by the Ferriby faithful, Gray has appeared for the Villagers since their time in the Evo-Stik league and has been an integral part of the NFU defence for a number of years. Gray has improved immensely during the season in the National League and will be a real handful back in the North. Gray never takes a backward step and contributes the odd goal along the way.
Gray’s likely defensive partner next season will be Jordon Cooke (pictured).
A very promising young defender Cooke, has had spells in the football league with Doncaster Rovers & Scunthorpe United and newly promoted Lincoln City impressed Steve Housham last season in a tough league, particularly when returning from injury. Jordon is another player who will have benefited immensely with his year in the National League and he will form a formidable partnership with ‘The Beast’.
Though early days, it looks like Housham and Stamp are putting together a squad that could be a force back in a league they certainly know how to get out of.
The club will be announcing more signings as and when the happen. The early signs are promising for the Villagers that they will compete favourably in what will be a hard league with some rich clubs.
Housham remains positive and patient he told the official club website “Priority is retaining last year’s squad & we have to be patient now”. The three signings already announced show that the patience is paying off with more to come.
Earlier in the week, the club announced that Rotherham United will travel to Church road on July 26th (kick off 7:30pm) as part of the pre season preparations.
Ticket prices are:
Concessions (65+ and students) £5
Under 16s: £2