Beardsley in as Sports look positively at new season

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By Derby Telegraph | Friday, August 12, 2011, 07:30

FORMER Derby County defender Jason Beardsley is the latest addition for Mickleover Sports as they gear up for a second season in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

Sports manager Dick Pratley looks to have added real depth to his squad after losing only striker Alex Steadman – to West Midlands rivals Chasetown – during the summer.

David Leigh, Thom Kellogg and Steve Banks have come in from Borrowash Victoria and goalkeeper Ali Barcherini from Belper Town, while a key signing is Michael Simpson, the veteran former Wycombe Wanderers and Burton Albion midfielder, who was with Eastwood Town last season.

But Pratley says developments off the field have been just as important.

"There's a great deal of work been happening behind the scenes and people will see a difference here," said Pratley.

On the field, staying in the division will still be the big target for Sports but Pratley thinks they will be well-equipped to do so.

"We've learnt a lot from last year, when we conceded too many goals," said Pratley, who will again be assisted by former Burton Albion defender Colin Hoyle.

"I think we'll be better-prepared. We were a counter-attacking team last year but, this time, I'm aiming to play 4-3-3.

"We'll look to play a bit more from midfield and we'll be attack-minded."

Unusually, Sports will start their league season on Sunday, when Nantwich Town are the visitors to Station Road (3pm).

The scheduling is because Mickleover Cricket Club still use part of the ground for home games on Saturdays for another few weeks. Often, Sports have not played a home game until several weeks into the season as a result.

"We had asked the league if we could be away on the weekends when the cricket is on but that didn't happen," said Pratley.

"We've never had a Sunday game but we'll try to treat it like a normal Saturday.

"I hope some people who've perhaps not been down before will come and see what we're all about."

      

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