Colne FC: Rebuilding for the 2019/20 campaign

Andrew Hollins put pen-to-paper as the Liverpool-based centre-back committed himself to the Lancashire-based club after an impressive loan spell during the 2018/19 campaign. Photography: Andy Pritchard

Colne Football Club have been very busy during the summer as the Lancashire-based club look to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

There were several questions asked following the exits of top goalscorer Alex Curran and Bradley Lynch. The pair of talented youngsters were always going to move on to ‘bigger and better’ things as they developed their skills under the guidance of Colne FC manager Steven Cunningham, who certainly knows how’s to nurture young talent, and get the best out of his players.

Cunningham reassured the Colne supporters over the course of the summer as he made a series of plans to rebuild his squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, and the ‘gaffer’ has certainly delivered on those reassurances.

As the suspense bullied, the Lancashire-based club firstly announced the capture of frontman Sefton Gonzales from Droylsden. The capture of Gonzales is a transfer that really excited the Colne faithful as the big, burly striker proved to be a ‘handful’ when the reds faced Droylsden over the course of the 2018/19 campaign.

Following the capture of Gonzales, the Colne manager was full of praise and admiration for his new signing: “I’m really pleased to finally announce one of my biggest targets ahead of the season, Sefton is one of the best no.9’s in the league and above.”

On the very same day, Steven Cunningham was delight the unveil the signing of Max Hazeldine from near neighbours, Clitheroe. And with Gonzales and Hazeldine confirmed as Colne players for the upcoming campaign, Steven Cunningham and club chairman Ryan Haigh really signalled their intent ahead of the big kick-off.

As the club prepare and rebuild ahead of the forthcoming season, they are faced with some tough challenges in pre-season. As well as undergoing some tough physical challenges off the ball, Steven Cunningham’s side will endure some tough pre-season fixtures against the likes of Chester, Padiham, Ashton United and Radcliffe Boro prior to the big kick-off on August 17th at Droylsden.

Following the captures of Gonzales and Hazeldine, Colne supporters and everyone involved at the club were delighted to hear the news that tall centre-back Andrew Hollins decided to commit to the football club on a permanent basis.

Hollins was instrumental during the latter end of the 2018/19 campaign as the Lancashire-based side made it the play-offs in the Evo-Stik Division One West. The Liverpool-based defender produced several stand-out displays, and both parties were ‘delighted’ with the deal.

Hollins took to social media to express his delight after putting pen-to-paper: “I’m delighted to join Colne Football Club. I can’t wait to get started, and I’m hungrier than ever!”

Colne manager Steven Cunningham also took to social media to portray his delight as Hollins joined the club permanently.

“This lad has the potential to go a long way in the game, said Cunningham. “Andrew’s enjoyed two spells at the club on loan with us, but I’m very happy to him as my own on the third occasion. He’s a great lad with a great family. Welcome back, big man.”

Ahead of their busy pre-season schedule, the reds faced a trip to Hyde United which resulted in a 1-1 draw. It was a strong display from Cunningham’s men as Colne created several openings, and despite missing a penalty late on in the game, it was an impressive display.

Prior to the trip to Hyde, Colne announced on social media, the capture of attacking forward Aidan Chippendale who joins the club from Ossett United. And with the additions of Gonzales, Hazeldine and Chippendale, there’s certainly plenty of firepower from an attacking point of view.

With the exciting signings that Ryan Haigh and Steven Cunningham have brought to the club, the fans and everyone involved at the football club are really looking forward to the new campaign, and early last week the fixtures for the 2019/20 BetVictor Northern Premier League were unveiled.

Cunningham’s men will kick off their campaign with a trip to Droylsden on August 17th. The club generated a unique and partisan-type atmosphere at the Sovereign Play Stadium during the previous campaign, and the home supporters will only have to wait until August 20th to see the reds take on Marine.

Just a few days later, the draw for the Buildbase Trophy was concluded, and the Lancashire-based club will host Marske United on September 28th at the Sovereign Play Stadium.

On Tuesday evening, Steven Cunningham’s men took on Euxton Villa in another pre=season warm-up fixture. The reds managed to secure a 2-1 victory in Chorley to head into the business end of pre-season.

Earlier on this week, Colne announced the capture of ‘tricky’ midfielder maestro Tony Donaldson from Ramsbottom United, subject to clearance from the FA.

Donaldson is a player that Cunningham has had his eye on for some time it seems, and the Colne manager once again took to social media to express his delight.

“I’m delighted to have secured the signing of Tony Donaldson, said Cunningham. “We’re always looking to to get the best young talent in the league, and give them a chance. This lad could well prove to be one of my best signings.”

It’s been a ‘hectic’ couple of weeks for Steven Cunningham and those close to the club, and excitement, high-quality football and great support is guaranteed at Colne Football Club.


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