Non-League: Summer signings give Guiseley a touch of class up front

Guiseley chairman Phil Rogerson.
Guiseley chairman Phil Rogerson.
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GUISELEY chairman Phil Rogerson is confident that the Lions have brought in three “class acts” in Tom Craddock, Will Hatfield and Adam Lockwood.

Former Portsmouth and Oxford United striker Craddock has become the Nethermoor outfit’s latest close-season recruit, with the 28-year-old seeking to put his injury nightmare at Pompey behind him.

Craddock endured an injury-blighted two years at Fratton Park where he picked up a career-threatening knee problem.

But the north-easterner is now over the problem and actually spent two weeks training at Pompey earlier this summer after being invited by manager Paul Cook before linking up on trial with Cambridge United, managed by Richard Money, his former boss at Luton.

Now Guiseley have swooped to sign Craddock, who played with Mark Bower briefly at Kenilworth Road, where the Lions boss had a short loan spell in 2008-09.

Rogerson said: “We have consolidated the squad quite well. We’ve lost one or two, but no-one that we wanted to lose and have brought in three class acts. It is all looking very hopeful.

“Tom will hopefully make a difference in that final third, which is what we have been looking for.

“Mark knows him of old and I think he is looking to come back and enjoy his football and it is all positive.”

Craddock began his career at Middlesbrough and he was part of their 2004 FA Youth Cup winning side alongside the likes of James Morrison, David Wheater, Tony McMahon and Matthew Bates.

Permanent spells at Luton, Oxford United followed for the Darlington-born frontman before he linked up with Pompey.

Craddock played 11 times for the south coast outfit, with his final appearance being back in November 2013 before his injury nightmare began.

Craddock’s recent trial game for Cambridge in their friendly at Evo-Stik South side St Neots was his first at first-team level in over a year and a half and the forward is eager to make up for lost time at Guiseley.

On his acquisition of Craddock, Bower added: “He’s been impressed with the players around him and he’s sure he’ll be able to score goals for us. I’m confident he’s got the qualities to fit into the way we play. I’m sure he’ll be a success for us.

“I’m not too fussed about what other people think about us, we’re just going about our business how we want to do it and getting the players in who we think will help the squad.

“It’s obvious we’ve been a bit short at the top end of the pitch and Tom’s got good quality into feet, he brings other players into play and his goalscoring record is top notch, so hopefully we can get the best out of him and he can enjoy his football again.”

Friendly action tonight sees Garforth welcome Eccleshill, while Tadcaster host Harrogate Town.

Yorkshire Amateur entertain Harrogate Railway and Farsley Celtic go to Thackley.

Liversedge and Hemsworth welcome Goole AFC and Stockbridge Park Steels respectively, while Nostell and Glasshoughton head to Carlton and Houghton Main.

Ossett Albion welcome Bradford Park Avenue and Frickley host a Barnsley XI. Brighouse entertain Huddersfield Town under-21s.

Nathan Cartman.

Cartman and Walshaw on target in Farsley Celtic victory