MARK BOWER believes that Guiseley have landed a ‘top defender’ in Ash Palmer, who rejected more lucrative offers to chance his arm in the National League with the Lions.
The former North Ferriby centre-half – player of the year in the Villagers’ maiden promotion to Conference level last season – is one of a clutch of new summer signings made by Guiseley, with Nethermoor chief Bower now targeting moves for a striker, goalkeeper and midfielder to seal his close-season recruitment.
Despite the best efforts of Ferriby to keep Palmer – previously on the books of Barnsley and Scunthorpe – the 25-year-old elected to move to West Yorkshire and Bower believes he has landed a real winner.
Bower, whose side start their second season at National League level with a trip to Eastleigh on August 6, said: “We have been really impressed with Ash.
“I am sure he won’t mind me saying that there was more money on offer for him if he went and played in the Conference North.
“But he was really keen to play as high as he could and he has come to play with us and we have managed to get the deal done with him.
“This is the highest level he has played at and we’ll look after him and make sure he is ready.
“He has got all the attributes to push on and be a top defender at this level and beyond.”
Bower remains happy with the rest of his recruitment with ex-Grimsby Town and Hull City full-back Danny East also arriving, rated as a real ‘coup’ according to the Lions chief.
Earlier captures including ex-Altrincham duo Michael Rankine and Nicky Clee and former Wrexham winger Adam Smith have further boosted Guiseley’s options, along with one-time England U20 and U19 midfielder Javan Vidal, who has also arrived from Wrexham.
And Bower believes Guiseley have landed a crowd pleaser in Vidal, who has previously had spells at Derby, Aberdeen and Greek side Panetolikos.
Bower, whose side welcome Barnsley in a friendly tonight and host Leeds United on July 22, said: “Javan is a character and probably gives us a bit of something we missed in midfield last season.
“He has a bit of versatility and really does get stuck in and loves a tackle and is box to box and all energy. He is definitely one that the fans will enjoy watching.”
On recruitment, he added: “We have a couple more to bring in.
“But we are pleased with what we have brought in and certainly feel we don’t need quite as many in the squad with the changes to the transfer window which gives us the flexibility to do things when we need to.
“We have managed to bring the age of the squad down a little bit with lads in their early twenties coming in.
“And it is important getting people fit and on their toes and pushing for places. We are not too far away and are definitely pleased with the lads we have brought in so far.
Meanwhile, Guiseley midfielder Jake Lawlor has signed a new two-year deal.