WARRINGTON Town get their season underway against Rushall Olympic on Saturday – we take a look at their 2017/18 squad.
Manager Paul Carden has quietly gone about his business over the summer, backed by club chairman Toby Macormac, to put together a team capable of challenging for promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier League.
It is a crucial season for all teams at this level, with structural changes to the non-league pyramid set to make getting out of his league even harder from next season onwards.
Odds vary from site to site, though the Yellows are 33/1 to win outright with bet365 on bet-bonuscode.co.uk.
Tony McMillan (Goalkeeper)
Experienced McMillan was seen as a key re-signing by Carden. He won the club’s Player of the Year award last season after keeping 12 clean sheets in the Yellows push for the play-offs.
Ben Ascroft (Goalkeeper)
The Blackburn youngster, 18, will provide able support and back-up for first choice McMillan.
Shaun Beeley (Defender)
Right-back Beeley could turn out to be one of the signings of the season, having joined from Barrow. Fed up with the rat race of full-time football, Beeley decided to go part-time and Carden wasted no time in signing him up. An attacking full back but solid in defence, Beeley fills the problem right-back slot. He has played for Fleetwood, Bury and Morecambe.
Adam Carden (Defender)
Now helping more with the coaching staff, brother of manager Paul Adam is a useful option to have in the squad, and will be providing back-up across the back four.
Liam Goulding (Defender)
Equally comfortable at right back and centre back, 21-year-old Goulding joins from Accrington. He has had loan spells at Witton, Chorley, Marine and Wealdstone, and now makes a permanent move to the Yellows to work his way back up the football pyramid.
Jack Higgins (Defender)
Described as an old-school centre-half by boss Carden, Higgins, 25, returns to part-time football having spent last season in the National League with York. He gave up his job as a teacher to move to York, and played 15 appearances, before ending last season on loan at Southport.
James McCarten (Defender)
Club stalwart and longest serving player McCarten returns as the backbone of the Yellows promotion push. The former Everton junior celebrated his 200th appearance for the club last season and was named Players Player of the Year and was also voted Player of the Year by supporters.
Rory McKeown (Defender)
Left-back McKeown returns to the Yellows after a handful of games last season. The 24-year-old has represented Northern Ireland at every age level up to Under 21s and played more than 40 games in the Scottish Premier League with Kilmarnock. He also played in Scotland for Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath, before moving to England first with Accrington Stanley, and then ending up at Southport following his brief spell with the Yellows.
Bradley Barnes (Midfielder)
Midfielder Barnes, 28, joins the Yellows after a year at Salford City. He had previously spent five years with ambitious AFC Fylde, where he was captain, so knows his way out of the Evo-Stik Premier League.
Connor Hughes (Midfielder)
Warrington’s third new signing of the season was Connor Hughes from Worcester City. A wide midfielder with an eye for goal, Hughes has already shown his ability with several eye-catching performances in pre-season. He came through the ranks at Oldham, making eight appearances, and has also had spells at Hyde, Halifax and Bradford Park Avenue.
Liam Hynes (Midfielder)
Hynes comes from Carden’s former club Southport, and adds energy to the Yellows midfield, something that was lost by the departure of Billy Smart. The 23-year-old has also previously played for Stalybridge.
Gerard Kinsella (Midfielder)
When Kinsella returns from injury, he will be like a new signing. Barely featured in 2016/17 due to a serious back injury, the former Everton youngster is on his way back to full fitness and will be an asset to any side at this level.
Joe Mwasile (Midfielder)
Played against the Yellows for Nantwich Town last season, Mwasile, 23, came close to joining Altrincham, now managed by former Nantwich boss Phil Parkinson, and Southport, before ending up at the Yellows. A powerful player, Mwasile adds options to the midfield. He played in the Football League for Morecambe, and has played at this level for Workington, Salford and Marine previously.
Dylan Vassallo (Midfielder)
Sought-after Vassallo’s presence in the squad is somewhat of a coup for the Yellows, who managed to get him to sign a new contract, despite interest from Football League clubs. Manager Carden has made clear his admiration for the ball-playing wide midfielder, who is likely to attract attention from defenders and other clubs throughout the new campaign.
Sean Williams (Midfielder)
One of Carden’s key re-signings was central midfielder Williams, who quickly became the heartbeat of the team last season. With Danny Ventre moving on, more responsibility will lie on Williams shoulders, who plays well above his 24 years.
Tony Gray (Striker)
A prolific goalscorer at non-league level, Gray was the first new signing announced by Carden this summer. He joins from Airbus UK, where he scored 10 goals in the Welsh Premier League last season. Gray has also played in the qualifying stages of the Europa League.
Josh Hine (Striker)
The signing of Hine made a few clubs sit up and take notice. Arriving from Salford City, Hine comes with a reputation as a quality goalscorer, and his presence along with several others gives the Yellows a formidable front line.
Ruben Jerome (Striker)
Another returnee from last season, promising youngster Jerome hit the headlines on several occasions last season as his goals helped propel the Yellows into the play-off chase. He also scored one of the goals of the season.
Abou Sanogo (Striker)
A player with undoubted talent, Sanogo has undone the Yellows on a couple of occasions over the years and now has the opportunity to do it in the right colour shirt. A rangey player comfortable in both midfielder and up front, Sanogo scores goals, tackles and creates. He played a level below for Radcliffe last season, and will be hoping to seize the opportunity playing in a quality squad.
Warrington Town’s first game is on Saturday at home to Rushall Olympic.