‘As competitive as we can’ – Skelmersdale United boss Paul McNally sets Northern Premier League demand

Skelmersdale United celebrate after beating Charnock Richard

Skelmersdale United manager Paul McNally has expressed his excitement at the upcoming season.

Skem emphatically secured their place in the Northern Premier League West when they eased past Cinderford in the promotion playoff.

They laid down a marker in the build-up to the new season with a resounding 6-0 win over Charnock Richard in the Reusch Champions Cup.

It has been a busy summer for a number of clubs and Paul McNally’s side are no different welcoming in a host of new faces in order to bolster the squad for their return to the Northern Premier League.

Speaking on their emphatic win over Charnock Richard, McNally told Off The Park: “On the day, it was a well fought win and it was pleasing for us. Two good teams going at it and it so happened that we turned out a very good performance on the day so I was happy with it overall. It was a competitive friendly but the first game of the season means the most. 

“Up and down. Usual injuries, people getting injured in pre-season, holidays so the usual with most pre-seasons. We’ve consistently trained we’ve had the same group of lads through pre-season, we’ve been getting 20-25 lads every training session but we haven’t had our full availability at any game or training session because of holidays and injuries.

“I’ll be happy once pre-seasons over and we get to a bit of normality when the seasons underway. 

“There’s been a few new additions, I feel that we’ve strengthened our squad rather than a specific area. I’ve added in the defence Jack Hont from Burscough who can play left back and left side of defence, he’s going to give us defensive stability.

“We’ve added Jordan Southworth, I identified him early doors, towards the end of the season and I’m pleased we got him from Irlam. He can play anywhere in the centre-forward area, the wide areas or even as a number 10.

“Then the other, Josh Nicholson signed him, he can play left, right, as a nine or 10 so for the likes of Mikey Howard going, I’ve strengthened with two or three players who can play in that position.

“We’ve signed another lad on loan from Morecambe, Jamie Nicholson, so we’ve got the three brothers playing and he’s going to be a fantastic prospect once he adapts to men’s football – he’s a left sided player, can play on the right, in the 10.

“Another one, scored a fantastic goal at the weekend, Karl Clair – he come to us, asked if he could train with us, do you know what the attitudes, commitment he’s shown in pre-season has been fantastic and if we can get him firing on all cylinders and get him fit, enjoying it, we’ve got a fantastic player on our hands because we know how good Karl is. He seems to have settled in really well with us.

“I’ve added a couple of young players, added a goalkeeper in James Dinley, he’s only 17, he performed well on Saturday and kept a clean sheet. Besides that, not much else I’ve just bolstered the squad if anything, I didn’t need any major signings. 

“As competitive as possible is what I’d say. There’s no expectation like we’ve got to win the league, we’re just going to be as competitive as we can and see where that takes us. We know it’s going to be as tough a league as it’s ever been.

“But I think we can be competitive, we’ll have a go and we’ll see where it takes us. If we need to strengthen throughout the season we will do but what we’ve got at the start we’ll be okay I think we need to add during the season or we might lose (players) I don’t know. That’s football, I’ll be happy if we’re competitive and no one has an easy game against us.”

Skelmersdale kick off their preparations against Trafford but were dealt a blow in the build-up as they have been forced to move away from JMO Sports Park after it failed a FIFA Bounce Test. They have made Burscough’s Community Ground their temporary home.

[Featured image: Skelmersdale United]

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