New signing in line for Bank Holiday debut
COLWYN BAY are hoping to get international clearance through in time for former Manchester United reserve Michael Lea to be added to the squad for their busy Bank Holiday weekend programme.
The Seagulls are at home to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday (3pm) and then travel to FC Halifax Town on Monday, and player-manager Dave Challinor was delighted to complete the signing of the 22-year-old from Hyde United on Thursday night.
Primarily a left back, Lea can play anywhere on the left side or at centre back and Challinor commented: "He is young, ambitious and keen to show what he can do. Everyone I have spoken to about Michael has given him glowing reports."
He was signed by Manchester United as a youngster and was a nomination for the reserves' Player of the Year in 2006-7 when he made 21 appearances.
He went to Royal Antwerp in Belgium on loan during the following season and made 15 appearances for them before returning to Old Trafford, but was given a free transfer when his contract expired in June 2008.
He had a season at Scunthorpe before joining Chester City in July 2009 and he made 19 appearances in the Conference for them before the club was wound up in March this year.
Having initially joined Hyde, he finished the season with Rochdale, but didn't get a game. He started this season back at Hyde, but has now joined the Seagulls after Hyde's disastrous start to the Conference North campaign in which they've conceded 16 goals in four successive league defeats.
International clearance permitting he will be included in the squad for Saturday's game, along with left winger Sam Bailey, whose clearance finally came through this week following spells playing in Australia (for Dandenong Thunder near Melbourne, with Bangor City's Jamie Reed) and America.
I wonder if these two players, in fact, might eventually form a new left wing partnership? Dave Challinor admits that is an area of the side that needs improving.
"We have been working on a few things since Tuesday's defeat against Ashton because although we didn't play that badly, we need more of a threat down the left, similar to what we have on the right with Luke (Denson) and Newbs (Newby), and we also need to get more support to Karl Noon up front," he says.
The search for a centre forward to provide more height and strength down the middle continues, but without too much success.
"I have put seven days in for one player, although I don't hold out too much hope there, while I am continuing to monitor the situation of another centre forward that I have been tracking for some weeks. It is proving very difficult to get the type of player we want, but we will keep on trying," he said.
The players were in good spirits in training on Thursday, but Challinor admits two very tough Bank Holiday games in three days will test his squad to the full.
He only has one major injury doubt, however, with Jon Newby under treatment for a groin strain.
"Saturday might come too soon for him, but I am more hopeful for Monday," added the player-boss.
Colwyn Bay (from): Sanna, Denson, Beattie, Lea, Challinor, Grannon, McGraa, Sheridan, Newby, Noon, Allen, McLachlan, Bailey, Titchiner, O'Sullivan, Jones, Brandreth, Davey, Williams, Metcalf.
The club have also announced that right back Luke Denson has been signed on a one year contract.
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