Buxton FC boost their midfield options with double signing

IN PICTURE: Paul Marshall.'SPORT: LEAD: Alfreton Town FC v Worcester City.  National League North match at the Impact Arena Stadium, Alfreton.  Saturday 21st January 2017.' PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY.  CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354
IN PICTURE: Paul Marshall.'SPORT: LEAD: Alfreton Town FC v Worcester City. National League North match at the Impact Arena Stadium, Alfreton. Saturday 21st January 2017.' PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY. CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354

Buxton FC boss Paul Phillips has strengthened his squad this week with the signings of Paul Marshall and Jake Hibbs.

Marshall, a product of the Manchester City youth academy, has Football League experience with Walsall, Rochdale and Port Vale.

While fellow midfielder Hibbs has joined from Spennymoor Town on an initial three-month loan from the National League North side.

There could yet be more to come with Phillips interested in taking on a central defender and a winger before the big kick-off.

Buxton have three more warm-up friendlies in the diary before the season opener at Scarborough Athletic on Saturday 17th August.

Speaking of the capture of Marshall, Phillips said: “He has signed a non-contract because he’s not played for a while.

“We want him to play a few games for us then play a few games on a dual-registration to get up to speed.

“If he gets himself fit then he’s a great midfielder but it’s up to him to get himself where he needs to be to challenge the lads in front of him.

“He’s got a great CV, playing in the League and the Conference, he’s a great player who has had a couple of injuries that have taken their toll on him.

“He’s looking sharper and hungrier than he has done for a while so it’s a no-brainer. We’ve taken him in and when fit he’ll be a big asset to us.”

And added: “He’s a natural left-sided player who is great at set-pieces. He’ll get the ball down and move it well, especially on our pitch.

“He’s a footballing midfielder, similar to what Brad Grayson is, with great vision and can open people up to create chances.

“We were probably lacking that last year.”

As well as League experience, Marshall has played at a high level with FC Halifax Town, Stockport County, Bradford Park Avenue, Alfreton Town and most recently Curzon Ashton.

“He came through the Man City ranks with the likes of Micah Richards and played for England under-18s,” said Phillips.

“He’s got a massive CV but CVs don’t count for anything, as I’ve said to other individuals, so it’s about how he does for us.

“He’s not missed a training session. It’s a matter of him bedding down, getting himself fit and looking after his body.

“He’ll know after four or five games with us and on dual-registration just how far he can push himself.”

Fellow signing Hibbs was part of the Spennymoor squad who made it to the National League North play-off final last season, losing out to Chorley on penalties.

“It’s another coup for the club,” said Phillips. “It’s only a three-month loan to start with but we’re hoping we can get him tied down permanently sooner rather than later.”

On the pitch, Buxton ran out comfortable 5-0 winners against neighbours Glossop North End in the High Peak Cup on Saturday, thanks to goals from Nico De Girolamo (2), Martin Pilkington, Diego De Girolamo and Brad Roscoe.

“I think we probably had two or three more gears to go into, and that’s no disrespect to them, it’s the information we got at the end from the running stats.”

“People started to get a bit lazy and they need to step up because we’re going into harder tests now against Northwich and Leek,” added Phillips.

Buxton came from behind to beat Northwich Victoria 2-1 at Wincham Park on Tuesday night.

Buxton’s pre-season schedule continues on Saturday with the trip to Leek Town before two home games against Brighouse Town on 6th August (7.45pm) and Widnes on 9th August (7.45pm).