WARRINGTON Town start another season on Saturday looking to progress up the football pyramid.
We’ve taken a closer look at who they’ll be starting the season with.
Tony McMillan (Goalkeeper, 36)
The veteran shotstopper has been a mainstay in the squad ever since Paul Carden’s arrival as manager, though lost his place in the team to on-loan Luke Pilling. The former Southport and Barrow goalkeeper adds useful experience behind what is expected to be a solid defence once again.
Adam Carden (Defender, 33)
Brother of manager Paul, Carden featured heavily last season and probably more than expected due to the long-term injury to first choice right back Shaun Beeley. Always dependable when called upon, Carden also assists with the coaching staff and identifying new signings.
Mitchell Duggan (Defender/Midfielder, 21 – signed from Tranmere)
Duggan rejoins the Yellows from Tranmere Rovers, where he has spent his whole professional career to date. He played a handful of games on loan from Tranmere back in 2016/17, and the Yellows had been keen to bring him back, but he went on to feature regularly for Tranmere as they won promotion from the National League last season. He was released at the end of the season and returns to Cantilever Park. He can fill in at right-back or in midfield.
David Raven (Defender, 33 – signed from Wrexham)
Another quality addition by Carden is that of defender Raven, who can play at right back or centre-half. He came through Tranmere’s academy and actually played three times for Liverpool – including a man of the match display in a League Cup quarter-final win over Tottenham in 2004. He played more than 150 games in the Football League for Carlisle and Shrewsbury, as well as a six year spell in Scotland with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Mark Roberts (Defender, 34 – signed from Forest Green)
Northwich-born Roberts has enjoyed a stellar career as a professional with more than 500 appearances and spent last season in Football League Two with Forest Green, making 20 appearances. He counts Crewe, Accrington, Stevenage, Fleetwood and Cambridge amongst his former clubs. While at Stevenage, Roberts captained the club to back-to-back promotions.
James McCarten (Defender, 27)
The only survivor of the famous FA Cup team from four years ago is captain and centre-back McCarten, who will miss the start of the season through injury sustained against Altrincham back in January. Entering his seventh season at the club, the former Everton trainee has made more than 200 appearances for the Yellows.
Shaun Beeley (Defender, 29)
The right-back was seen as somewhat of a coup when he joined the Yellows last summer from National League side Barrow, having made the decision to quit full-time football to pursue another career. He suffered injury early in the season which ruled him out for large parts of his first campaign, but will be another useful part of Carden’s squad this year. The Stockport-born player has also played for Fleetwood, Bury and Morecambe, as well as a solitary cap for England C.
Ben Garrity (Midfielder, 20 – signed from Liverpool local league)
What looks like a project player signing is midfielder Ben Garrity, plucked from the Liverpool amateur leagues by Carden. The Yellows have seen some success in giving a chance to players from lower down the pyramid, and there are high hopes that Garrity can seize the opportunity with a full pre-season behind him.
Rob Evans (Midfielder, 23 – signed from Billericay Town)
An eye-catching signing is that of Welsh midfielder Evans, who is a good example of the sort of calibre of player that Carden can attract. Young and hungry, but with a point to prove. Evans became Wrexham’s youngest ever captain at the age of 18, and made 120 appearances for them, before moving to Billericay Town, where he scored six goals in 50 appearances last season.
Jack Dunn (Forward, 23 – signed from Tranmere)
Liverpool academy product Dunn arrives from Carden’s former club Tranmere to bolster the Yellows’ attacking threat. During his time at Liverpool, he went on loan to Cheltenham, Burton, Morecambe and Tranmere, before joining them permanently last summer. He represented England at U17, U18 and U19.
Liam Hynes (Midfielder, 24)
It’s a case of second time lucky for Hynes who joined the Yellows last summer and looked like being an integral part of a promotion push, until he suffered a nasty knee injury in the early away trip to Coalville, which kept him out for the entire season. In many ways like a new signing, Hynes and the club are both being rewarded for their loyalty and efforts last season, with Carden believing that the former Southport and Stalybridge man is in better shape than even before his injury.
Luke George (Midfielder, 25 – signed from Hartlepool)
Also looking to get back on track with his career is former Chester captain George. He spent last season with Hartlepool, but was hampered by a number of injuries, and was released at the end of the season after making just eight appearances. He has also previously played in the National League with Southport.
Dylan Vassallo (Midfielder, 20)
Hot prospect Vassallo was subject of much interest last summer and had trials at clubs in the Football League, before committing to Warrington. He kicked on and made noticeable improvements to his game, particularly defensively, and looked like becoming an integral part of the team in central midfield, before niggling injuries kept him absent for much of the final third of the campaign. An exciting player with the ball at his feet, he may be a player that can benefit from and grow with the experience and quality around him.
James Caton (Forward, 24 – signed on loan from Darlington)
Signed on a month’s loan from Darlington, Caton has featured for the Yellows in pre-season, and adds to Carden’s attacking options with a few question marks over availability elsewhere in the squad for the early parts of the season. Formerly with Blackpool, Shrewsbury and Southport, Caton hails from Widnes.
Jack Mackreth (Forward, 26 – signed from Wrexham)
Another solid signing with a decent CV behind him is winger Mackreth, who joins from Wrexham, having spent some time this summer on trial with Football League Two side Macclesfield. Comfortable on both flanks, Carden has hinted he may try him in an advanced role through the middle, once his international clearance goes through. He came through the ranks at Tranmere, and has made more than 100 appearances in the National League for Grimsby and Macclesfield.
Richard Brodie (Forward 31 – signed from Rushall)
A prolific striker in his younger days, Brodie was subject to the largest transfer fee ever between two non-league clubs when he moved from York, where he scored 53 goals in 135 league games, to Crawley Town, as part of their fledgling project at the time in 2010. From there he went to Fleetwood, Morecambe and Grimsby, before going to hometown club Gateshead. He has struggled to settle since then and dropped down the leagues, scoring 16 goals in Warrington’s division for Rushall Olympic last season. His professionalism has impressed in pre-season, where he’s even turned out at centre half.
Josh Amis (Forward, 23 – signed from Marine)
Amis missed the start of last season after an emergency appendix operation while at eventual champions Altrincham, and ended the campaign at Marine. He started out at Preston and has also played for Northwich and Stockport. Carden has high hopes for the striker if he can stay fit.
Tony Gray (Forward, 33)
The final of seven returnees from last season is striker Gray, who was the Yellows’ first new signing of last summer. The veteran striker boasts a fine goalscoring record of at least a goal every other game and his absence through injury was seen as a major reason that the Yellows couldn’t win promotion last season. As well as his goals, Gray’s work rate is second to none, enabling chances to be created from winning the ball back in the final third.
The Yellows are still hopeful of adding another body ahead of the season opener. Previously announced signing Lewis Nightingale, formerly of Farsley and Darlington, has not yet joined up with the club due to a change of working commitments at his job with Everton.