Category: Club News

Striker Heads For Mickleover

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover have added Loughborough University striker Dylan Edwards to their squad for next season. Edwards is the Universities all-time leading scorer, having played for them for the last three seasons.

He had also represented Wales at Futsal and is the Grandson of Welsh Rugby Union legends Sir Gareth Edwards.

I like to play winger or striker, but coming to Mickleover will give me the chance to test myself and maybe create other opportunities. When I was introduced to Gareth Holmes his enthusiasm impressed me and I was convinced that a move to Mickleover would be a good one for me

he said.

Dylan’s going to be really exciting for us, he wants to learn and improve as a player, he’s athletic fast and direct. He’s scored a lot of goals during his time at Loughborough and is versatile in the roles he can play. He is a great addition to the team and we are really looking forward to working with him

added Sports manager Gareth Holmes.

Mersin’s Back As Number One

by Peter Scherer

Having seen out the latter part of last season to the play-off semi-finals with some outstanding performances, goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin has re-signed for the coming season.

The former Millwall and Liverpool Junior and Turkish Youth International, was signed from Irish Club Harland & Wolf and was keen to return to the Don Amott Arena for the new term.

I really wanted to come back to Mickleover, as I enjoyed it so much, even though I had offers nearer to my home. When I arrived I had so much help from our goalkeeping coach Jonah Jones, he was brilliant with me. He rebuilt my confidence so I hit the ground running and he gave me the enthusiasm to feel part of the team.

I can’t fault the club, it has a great family feel and you feel the supporters are really with you, even when it doesn’t go right.

said Mersin.

Yusef gives us a real physical presence in goal, which is what we wanted as we move into the Northern Prem. I thought he was excellent at the end of last season. He’s commanding in the air and an excellent shot stopper. Again he’s someone who’s had other offers, but has chosen to sign here, which is testament to the things that are going on.

said Mickleover boss Gareth Holmes.

Atkinson Returns

by Peter Scherer

Experienced defensive midfielder Will Atkinson will be back in a Mickleover shirt again this season, having initially planned to move to Coalville.

Having arrived from Boston Utd in pre-season Atkinson was one of the stand-out players in last years line-up, showing his experience and skill as a calming influence.

I didn’t really want to leave Mickleover, but it was a new league and id would mean more travelling for me. But I have managed to sort that out now and so I am pleased to be staying.We had a good group of lads last year and I am glad some of them are staying too

said Atkinson.

Will and I have spoken quiet a few times since the end of the season and I’ve been really impressed with the type of person he is! His Honesty and Drive have really shone through. He’s an intelligent player with a excellent ability to develop the ball and break up play, so I’m delighted he has agreed to sign for next season

added Manager, Gareth Holmes.

Ryder Sticks With Sports

by Peter Scherer

Mickleover’s talented young striker Fin Ryder has committed to the club for the forthcoming season, having graduated to the first team squad via the academy and reserve team, to earn his first contract.

He scored his first senior goal in the home win against Nuneaton last season and also had a spell on loan at Basford.   

I’m really excited to sign my first contact at Mickleover, as I’ve been at the club since I was about 10 years old. I really enjoyed the games I started and came on as sub in last season. I’m hungry to score more goals and play more minutes this season and know the NPL is different, as people have said it’s more physical. However I enjoy that side of the game so it will be a good test for me and help me develop as a player.

said Ryder.

Mickleover boss Gareth Holmes sees Fin as one for the future…

He has a lot of raw attributes, he’s strong, fast and brave. His attitude and desire to improve has really stood out for me, and the exciting thing is the potential and room for further development that is Fin.

There are some excellent strikers here to learn from and Fin’s challenge is to push hard and be the best version of himself, because his attributes provide us with a different option.

Wilson & Dales Are Back For More

Captain Ryan Wilson and Andy Dales are the latest players to re-sign for another Mickleover FC campaign.

It will be Wilson’s third season at the Don Amott Arena, having signed from Basford in summer 2022, and his second term with captain’s armband.

Being captain doesn’t give more responsibility, apart from leading the lads out, but we’re a team. We are hoping to produce the same sort of performances as last year, but I think it may be a bit tougher in the NPL. It’s colder in the north and stronger to

he said.

Dales has become a Mickleover legend, having returned to the club in August 2021, after a three-year spell at Scunthorpe. Where he was loaned to Dundee and Hamilton Academicals.

I have been at the club for much of my career now and love it, so it didn’t take much thinking about really. Going back into the NPL will be more physical, with bigger teams, but we’ve been there before

said Dales, who was coached by new boss Gareth Holmes as a nine year old at Derby County.

For me this is simple, we want good people & players at the club. Andy & Ryan both need no introduction as they played major roles in last season’s achievements. People know the qualities they possess

said Mickleover boss Gareth Holmes.

They demonstrate a desire to excel at both sides of the game. We will need this desire in abundance next season and I’m delighted that they have chosen to stay and be part of what we are going to build here

he added.

Taft Joins Sports

Centre back George Taft has signed for Mickleover, having spent last season at Nottinghamshire neighbours Worksop Town.

A Former Leicester City Junior, Taft played league football for York City, Burton Albion, Cambridge Utd, Mansfield, Bolton Wanderers and Scunthorpe Utd, before moving to Worksop in August last year.

I already knew Stuart Beavon and he was my first point of contact, but manager Gareth had coached me as a youngster too. I was impressed when Mickleover beat Worksop last season as it was our first defeat at Worksop.

Taft explained.

I knew some of the players too and heard what a good family club it was. I have already been made welcome and hope to help them to promotion.

he added.

George is a great fit for us. I’ve stressed that we need good people, as well as good players and George fits this bill. His physical qualities are obvious and he will strengthen us in this department. But there is much more to George’s game than this, he’s got the ability to defend well and start attacks. His Calibre speaks for itself. His experience of doing well in the Northern Premier League last season is a bonus too and he’s another great addition

said manager Gareth Holmes.

Barnes Signs Up!

by Peter Scherer

Striker Marcus Barnes is the latest player to re-sign for another season at Mickleover. A pre-season season signing last year after a short stay in the US, Barnes went onto score 18 League and Cup goals and was the clubs second highest goalscorer.

Marcus is an incredibly exciting player, who I worked with in his earlier years. He has shown his prowess in front of goal and 18 goals, having not been the designated penalty taker is an excellent return.

He’s got bags of pace, coupled with intelligent movement, and the ability to play in multiple positions

said Mickleover manager Gareth Holmes

It’s another positive signing for the club and again demonstrates the intent that we have for next season. We want to be an exciting and dynamic football team and Marcus is the type of player that will help us be this, so I’m really looking forward to working with him again

Holmes added.

It’s a great family club from top to bottom, and I’ve known Gareth since he coached me when I was 11 or 12, so it’s good to rejoin him.

It will be nice to progress more with the club this season, but I won’t be setting any targets. Just take any opportunities game by game

replied Barnes.

Bennett First To Re-Sign

by Peter Scherer

Jake Bennett has become Mickleover boss Gareth Holmes’ first signing for the 24/25 league season, when he penned a two-year deal to start his fifth consecutive season at the Don Amott Arena.

Right back Bennett had a previous spell with Mickleover before joining Sheffield Utd, and has also played for Coalville, Alfreton and Chesterfield, having started his career in his native Shropshire, with Market Drayton and Telford.

I’m excited in what we are going to build here at Mickleover FC. We’ve been clear in what that vision looks like now and how we improve all aspects of the club, both on and off the field.

Jake will be an integral part of how we want to play and move forward. I’m delighted that he has committed to the club and the journey that we are going to go on.

said Holmes.

Introducing Our New Manager

by Peter Scherer

Following the departure of John McGrath after eight years in charge, Gareth Holmes has taken over the reins.

Mansfield born Holmes played in the Conference for Nuneaton Borough and Leigh RMI, as well as locally with Ilkeston Town, Worksop and Hucknall Town and had six-month spell in Finland too.

He had already done some coaching at Ilkeston, “I decided to retire from playing aged 26 and became one of the youngest first team coaches in the league when I joined Mansfield Town,” he explained.

His FA and UEFA coaching qualifications continued to map his career, when after a year at Field Mill, he joined Burton Albion, working with the Brewers junior players.

Two years later he moved on to Birmingham City in a similar role, and then spent six years with Nottingham Forest managing the under 18’s, as well as been part of the first-team coaching staff

Since then he has worked with the Derby County Community Trust, but felt it was now time to make a return.

“I haven’t been away from football, just the competitive side, after I had done 20 years of coaching,” he explained.

He has worked a lot with youngsters developing their careers, “that part is important to me, helping us build a strong squad at Mickleover and helping the youngsters develop in their individual careers,” he added.

“I saw Mickleover play a couple of times this season, but at the time I never thought I would be where I am now. I am hoping to announce my backroom line-up later this week too,” he confirmed too.

He has four key words in his coaching style, SERVE, IMPROVE, DRIVE & UNITE.

With rumours getting stronger that Mickleover may be making a return to the Northern Premier League, does our new gaffer have any views on that?

“I believe any moving of leagues etc will be confirmed by the end of the month, but with only Blyth from the North coming down from the National League North and the others all Southern based, that could be quite likely. I think the Northern Premier is probably a stronger league too,” he concluded.