Position: Defender

Joe Bateman

D.O.B December 6th 1998

One of the pre-season signings, Joe impressed in a couple of pre-season friendlies in his familiar roles of centre back.

A former Derby County player, he has come through the under 18 and under 23 ranks before being released at the end of last season.

He made one start for the Rams first team in the FA Cup tie at Chorley last season.

A strong dependable player, he can also play defensive midfield and has been a key part of the team from the opening NPL game at South Shields.

Phil Watt

D.O.B: January 10th 1988

Phil was another who started his football path with his home town club of Rotherham Utd. 

He moved on to Lincoln City in 2004 and spent four years at Sincil Bank, where he made his first team debut in the opening match of the 2007/8 season, and played again in an FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest.

There had been a couple of loan spells at Grantham during his time at Lincoln, but for the next three years he was at Corby Town.

After another loan spell at Grantham, the dependable centre back made it a permanent move, but after one-season moved on to Boston Utd.

His next move was to Coalville Town where he scored two goals in his 12 games, before starting a long association with Belper Town.

In three different spells he reached the 150 appearance milestone for the Nailers, as well as scoring a winning play-off goal to gain them promotion and was twice voted into the team of the division during his stays.

He also had a spell at Lincoln Utd and Frickley Athletic in between his Belper experiences, from where he joined the Sports line-up during the summer.

He formed a strong central defensive partnership with James Butler early on, which just got stronger, as well as getting himself on the score sheet on a number of occasions too.

“Watty” was also the man who ran the first team squad zoom sessions to keep everyone fit during lockdown.

Jordan Gough

D.O.B: June 12th 1990

Born in Burton on Trent, Jordan began his footballing as a Derby County Junior, before his release sent him to Gresley Rovers via Stapenhill in 2008.

Initially he started as a striker, before becoming a left or centre back, making his first team debut for Gresley in 2009.

After five years at Gresley he joined Solihull Moors where he spent the next four years, before moving on to Brackley in 2017.

Further moves have taken him to Telford, Chester, Boston Utd and Tamworth, before a brief stay at Nuneaton preceded his arrival at Mickleover.

James Butler

D.O.B.: February 11th 2000

A Stoke City Schoolboy and Academy player for nine years, James became a regular in the Potters Under 18 and Under 21 Premier League teams, a solid dependable centre back.

But it was during a loan at Kidsgrove Athletic, that Butler impressed their opponents in an FA Cup tie and he was offered a work experience stay at Hartlepool.

He spent two months in the North East, but didn’t manage to break into the first team squad and returned to Kidsgrove.

Stoke City retained an option on him as he became a regular at the Grove, but during the summer of 2020 both he and team mate Alex Morris made the move to the Don Amott Arena.

His strength, dependability and old school style of no nonsense defending, soon made him a  favourite with the Mickleover fans and he soon became established as a kingpin of the defence.

Jake Bennett

D.O.B.: February 22nd 1996

Like so many others, Jake started playing for his hometown club Telford AFC as a 15 year old, making two first team starts before going out on loan to Market Drayton.

He was initially spotted by Mickleover management during a friendly match against Market Drayton, and with Sports then pushing for promotion back to the Premier Division of the NPL, he was made an offer which he readily accepted to become a Sports player in December 2014.

After being part of the squad for his first half season, he became a first choice defender over his two year stay and began to receive offers of trials from League Clubs.

He joined Sheffield Utd in 2016 and making his first team debut in the EFL Cup in 2017, plus other first appearances in some friendly matches.

He was then due to go on loan to Chesterfield, but played against them in a friendly and collected a cruciate ligament injury, putting him out of action for 10 months.

A further thigh injury on his comeback meant he never got to play for Chesterfield, and following his release by Sheffield Utd in October 2019, he had a brief at Alfreton Town, before joining Coalville Town in December 2019 in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

He opted to return to Mickleover during the summer, of 2020 as he was still looking to rebuild his career and looked back fondly at his previous two years with the club.

My lasting memory was winning the title here, the first medal I had ever won in football.

First choice last season at right back, his overlapping runs also meant he was on hand to find the back of the net on occasions too.