Atherton Collieries are delighted to announce that Evo-Stik Division One West Player of the Year Ben Hardcastle has also agreed a new deal which will keep him at Colls for the coming season.

The 24-year old, who is Atherton born and bred, joined Collieries in the summer of 2014, becoming Micheal Clegg’s first signing as manager. This season he made his 250th appearance for the club, missing only a handful of games during that period, Ben is synonymous with Clegg’s reign.

An instant hit at the club, scoring a crucial goal on the opening day of the 2014 campaign as the club beat eventual promotion rivals Cammell Laird. That goal set the tone for the season, as Hardcastle played a pivotal role in seeing the club promoted into the NWCFL Premier Division. His progress has continued, last season chipping in with 17 goals including a 4 goal haul against Skelmersdale United as we won the Evo-Stik Division One West by 7 clear points.

Both Hardcastle and Danny Lafferty made the league Team of the Year, in recognition of their contribution to our success. Retaining Ben and Danny, along with Clive Smith and other players who will be announced in due course is a massive coupe for the club. The close knit nature of the club being essential to our progress.

When asked about committing to the club, Ben said:

“I absolutely love the club and playing for Cleggs. When he told me that we were keeping this squad together, I didn’t think twice about where I wanted to play my football next season.”

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