UPDATED: Buxton FC squad ‘strongest we’ve ever assembled’ - Phillips

Buxton FC v Hednesford, joint manager Paul Phillips
Buxton FC v Hednesford, joint manager Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips believes the squad he and joint boss Steve Halford have assembled at Buxton FC is the strongest the pair have ever worked with going into a new season.

The management team have brought in several new players this summer, including the eye-catching addition of ex-Sheffield United forward Diego De Girolamo, and strengthened their ranks again this week.

Goalkeeper Theo Roberts has joined on a youth loan. The 19-year-old advanced through the ranks at Wigan Athletic and made his first team appearance in an EFL Trophy tie against Accrington Stanley in November 2017.

He ended the 2017/18 season on loan at AFC Fylde before signing for Chester this summer.

Phillips said: “I think he’s got a massive future. He’s a cracking lad and here to learn. Young and inexperienced but with experience he’ll be an even better goalkeeper. I think we’ve got a cracker on our hands in Theo. We’ve got two great ‘keepers and whoever we go into the season with it’ll be very hard to keep two ‘keepers happy.”

Buxton have also signed defender Alex Brown from Sheffield FC and are working on a deal for midfielder Luke Daly from Droylsden.

Daly was expected to have signed this week but it has emerged the player is under FA contract elsewhere, holding up the move.

“Luke’s a ball playing midfielder who will make us tick,” said Phillips. “It’s what we’ve been looking for all summer. He’s going to open defences up with little balls around the corner for Liam or Diego. I think we’ve got enough tough tackling players, we just needed that one who is going to get on the ball and open doors for us.”

“Ally has represented England C in April and actually scored for us on Saturday and did really well for us. It’s one we’ve been working on and we’re pleased to get it done.”

Phillips is pleased with the squad as a whole.

“We had 22 at training last night. It’ll be hard to keep everyone happy but it’s the strongest squad we’ve ever assembled in management at this time of year.

“We’ve got a good nucleus and a good balance of players. The hardest thing will be to keep everyone happy because everyone wants to be involved. Hopefully we get the right format to win the games,” he added.