Paul Phillips wants Nico De Girolamo ‘fighting fit’ after defender extends Buxton FC stay

Buxton v Gainsborough Trinity. 'Gainsborough's Damien Reeves gives Nico De Girolamo the slip in the first half.
Buxton v Gainsborough Trinity. 'Gainsborough's Damien Reeves gives Nico De Girolamo the slip in the first half.

Buxton FC boss Paul Phillips has told Nico De Girolamo to return fighting fit for the 2019/20 Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division season.

Defender De Girolamo, brother of fellow Bucks forward Diego, this week extended his Silverlands stay by committing to the club for the forthcoming campaign.

De Girolamo joined Buxton from Matlock Town during the 2017/18 season and quickly established himself in Phillips’ side following his appointment in March of that same season.

And Phillips was pleased to get him tied down for another year.

“We wanted to get that one done,” said Phillips. “He’s been brilliant for us.

“He tailed off at the end of last season, with his fitness not as good as it was, but he’s a great centre-half and we’re lucky to have him.

“I’ve told him that when he comes back for pre-season he’s got to be fighting fit and be fitter than he was.

“He’s got some competition now with the squad we’ve got - it’s how much he wants it.

“He’s got to be fit to play week-in and week-out because the competition is going to be fierce.”

Phillips is continuing in his efforts to add the finishing touches to his squad for the new campaign, with a winger and a midfielder on his wish list.

He added: “We’re really pleased with the lads we’ve got in who will be reporting back for pre-season.

“I probably only need two more - a midfielder and a winger - and then I’ll be happy.

“There are one or two irons in the fire so we’ll see how they develop.

“Unless there is something which comes alive and can make us better, I’m happy with the squad we’ve got.”

While defender Alex Brown flew the flag for Buxton on the international front - starting for England C in their match with Estonia under-23s.

The non-League Lions were eventually beaten 2-0 thanks to two quick-fire goals from Markus Poom and Kaarel Usta late on for Estonia.

“It’s great to see,” said Phillips. “We got the kid from Sheffield FC and he’s gone on to bigger and better things.

“He’s still got a lot to learn and I hope his feet stay on the ground. If they don’t, moving too far forward too soon, can be a backwards step in the long run.”