NCEL: Armthorpe Welfare and Rossington Main 2019/20 season preview
Armthorpe Welfare and Rossington Main both start their new Toolstation Northern Counties East League Division One campaigns at home on Saturday.
Armthorpe host neighbours Parkgate and Rossington start a new era at Oxford Street against Retford.
This season will see four promotion places available to the Premier Division, while ten minute sin-bins will be rolled out across the NCEL to help stamp out dissent.
Welfare won 2-0 at Central Midlands League side Newark Town last weekend with goals from Adam Lee and Ryan Poskitt.
Poskitt became Michael Carmody’s latest signing immediately after the game. The experienced striker played for Glasshoughton Welfare last term and has also had spells at Ponterfract Collieries and Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.
He is joined by other new faces at Church Street, including forward Jake Ashton and central defender Lewis Moseley, while Gary Collier has returned to the club after a spell at Selby Town.
Collier was one of Carmody’s first signings back in 2016, initially joining as player/assistant/manager but left the club in January 2018 after netting 17 times in 42 appearances.
Striker Lee is also back at the club after a spell at FC Bolsover.
Another returnee is attacking midfielder Josh Bowkett following a season at Division One rivals Ollerton Town.
Midfielder Jordan Linley has made the switch from rivals Rossington, as does central defender Josh Gibbons who joins Welfare for a second spell.
Carmody has kept a good number of last season’s squad with goalkeeper Alfie Stevens-Neale, Tyler Walker, Leon Larcombe-Loftus, Craig Aspinall, captain Steve Garner, Liam Radford and Lee Betts amongst those remaining.
A good start is an absolute must for Welfare but they will find Parkgate, who finished eighth last season, a tough nut to crack.
Armthorpe appear to have the firepower to give it a go this term providing they can cut out the sloppy goals that cost them dearly in many games last season.
Ryan Hindley stood down as Rossington boss at the end of last term and has been replaced by Ben Hunter in the dugout, with Sam Parkin and Matt Ellison completing the new-look management team.
Main have lost highly-rated goalkeeper Callum Fielding who has moved up the football pyramid to join Gainsborough Trinity.
Former Doncaster Rovers stopper Jan Budtz has been recruited as Fielding’s replacement.
Rossington rounded off their warm-up campaign with an excellent 4-3 win at BetVictor side Frickley Athletic.
“Now the real challenge begins,” said Hunter. “We have a good group of lads and a great spirit within the team and they know the standards we are expecting. Hopefully we will have a good year and bring a bit of a buzz back to Rossington.”
With three of Main’s first four league games at home it gives them the ideal chance to make a positive start and put last season’s struggles behind them.