Atherton Collieries are pleased to announce that the attacking trio of Mark Battersby, Jordan Cover and Ben Hardcastle have signed contracts with the club ahead of the 2016/17 season. This is a sign of intent from Collieries who will hope to build upon their third place finish in the league this campaign.
Manager Michael Clegg was keen to secure the services of these three players, explaining that, “When clubs are chasing after your players you need to try and tie them down on a permanent basis. With the amount of goals these three scored between them last season we needed them to stay and commit for another campaign,”
“The team here at Colls is very strong. Unfortunately, a host of injuries in a tough three week spell killed us off last season when we ran both Colne and Linnets close for the title,”
“We know, as a club, that by keeping this bunch of young, local players together we have a strong chance of improving on this season. If we learn from our mistakes and work harder hopefully we can taste some more success,”
Since joining from Atherton Laburnum Rovers in the summer of 2014 both Hardcastle and Cover have played a major role in the club’s most successful era in it’s history. Clegg said, “Ben is a young and hungry footballer and he knows that another 12 months here at Colls will benefit him,”
“Jordan has never been happier playing football following a top season. I think it is only right that the club have rewarded his performances,”
Following Mark Battersby’s hat-trick in the recent League Cup Final he managed to top the NWCFL goalscoring charts for a second successive season, retaining his golden boot. The former Stockport County and Salford City striker has scored an incredible 97 goals in two years and if his recent speech at the presentation night is anything to go by he is looking forward to adding to his tally come August.
Clegg said, “Batts is Batts. He won the Golden Boot this season and he missed a large number of matches. Everybody in the league knows how good he can be and I am confident that he will only get better,”
“We have a strong squad and we need to keep together.”
Picture: (Left to right) – Jordan Cover, Mark Battersby & Ben Hardcastle