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‘We are looking very strong,’ says Alfreton boss Heath

Ilkeston v Skelmsdale. Pictured for Ilkeston is Jack Lane
Ilkeston v Skelmsdale. Pictured for Ilkeston is Jack Lane

Alfreton Town’s summer signing spree went up to 11 this week with the arrivals of Bobby Johnson and Jack Lane to the Impact Arena.

Tenacious midfielder Johnson joined from North Ferriby United while towering defender Lane has come from Tamworth - both penning one-year deals.

They add numbers to Billy Heath’s squad but the Reds boss is keen to keep to around 18 players for the 2018/19 National League North campaign.

Johnson made 28 appearances for North Ferriby last term, scoring once, after a fruitful time at Goole AFC where he finished top scorer in 2016/17 and was named Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year.

Heath said: “Bobby will bring lots of energy to the side; he is a clever player on the ball and is a tenacious individual.

“Bobby is similar to Ross (Durrant) in the sense that he had a difficult season last season with Ferriby but again everytime I watched him, he was impressive.

“His will to win is fantastic, he has a great attitude and desire and he wants to play. It’s a great signing for us again.

“We have a really good player in Jack, he’s been at Tamworth and Nuneaton most recently and he has always done well.”

Former Macclesfield centre-half, Lane, stands at 6’3” and includes Salford City, Hinckley United, Oadby Town, Ilkeston and Nuneaton Town among his past clubs.

He has also spent a year in California where he played for Sacremento Republic.

“Jack is a left footed centre half which gives us good balance in the backline and he can play too,” said Heath. “He’s good on the ball and has bags of quality, we are really pleased to have him on board and things are shaping up now.”

And added: “We are looking strong and once our business is concluded we will probably have a smaller squad than most in the league as we aim for around 18 players.

“But our team is a flexible one; a lot of the players can play more than one position. We have a great blend of experience at this level and youth.

“We have done really well to get the players we have and equally the players who we have brought in have wanted to come to Alfreton over other sides and other offers.

“We are building an excellent squad and a great atmosphere within the team, we are looking very strong.”

• Meanwhile there have been two changes to the club’s pre-season fixtures schedule with home matches against Scunthorpe United and Nottingham Forest under-23s now confirmed.

The Iron will visit the Impact Arena on Friday 13th July (7.45pm kick off) and the young Reds will return to a pitch they know well on Saturday 21st July (3pm kick off).

It has meant the initial friendly matches with Matlock Town and Buxton FC have been cancelled.

• The club’s academy side has been renamed the development team for next season and has been accepted into the Central Midlands League Division One North East.