Squad Update: 31/12/2022

Atherton Collieries would like to wish the best of luck to forward Aaron Smith, who has departed the Skuna Stadium to pursue new ventures in Australia. The versatile young number 10 joined the Collieries last October from 1874 Northwich, having previously impressed throughout his youth career with Nottingham Forest. Since his goal-scoring debut for Colls against Bamber Bridge, Smith has accrued 6 goals and 2 assists for the Black & Whites, with these contributions at vital moments producing some historic results for the club, most notably the away victories at Matlock & FC United. Across his 56 appearances in Black & White, Smith has also received five Man of the Match awards. Speaking on the departure, manager Brad Cooke said: "Although I am gutted to see Aaron leave, I am delighted for him on a personal level. He is a fantastic player, but more importantly a fantastic lad. It's an opportunity that he has been craving for some time after returning from Australia due to the Pandemic." "I have no doubt he will be a huge hit over there, I look forward to watching him continue to climb the ladder back to where he belongs. Nothing would give us more pride than to see him return to full time football!" All at the Colls would like to place on record our thanks and best wishes to Aaron, as he pursues what is certainly an exciting opportunity. We would also like to welcome Ollie Brown back to the Skuna Stadium, with a new loan deal being agreed until the end of the season. Ollie Brown has already amassed 12 appearances for the Collieries over his previous loan spells this season, including his Man of the Match performance against Radcliffe & and vital assist against Ashton United. Brad Cooke adds: "I have been working on bringing Ollie back since we lost him a month ago. Our record with him in the team is very good, he does add something that we don't have and can play in a number of positions. He is a huge player for us and I am delighted that we have been able to secure him for the remainder of the season!"

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