MANAGER Simon Haworth is undertaking a significant mid-season rebuilding job at Stalybridge Celtic.
Three new loan signings have been made and Haworth is also hoping to bring in an academy player from a Premier League club at the beginning of January. He describes it as “an exciting possibility”.
Striker Chris Sharp is among a number of players to leave Bower Fold while exciting young winger Neil Kengni, who had been on non-contract forms, has signed a first contract to the end of the 2020/21 season.
Haworth decided to make changes explaining he was not prepared to settle for a mid-table position in Evo Stik League, premier division and that is why he decided to freshen up the squad.
The new signings are:
• Jamal Crawford, 21, a wide right player on one month’s loan from FC United.
• Michael Jones, 20, a central midfielder on dual forms from FC United.
• Andrew Scott, 18, an Irish midfielder on loan from Accrington Stanley until January 12.
Haworth is delighted Kengni, an academy player released by Rochdale in the summer, has committed his future to Celtic.
Kengni, 18, was recommended to Haworth by former Oldham Athletic player Mike Flynn who was his youth coach at Rochdale.
Haworth said: “After being released he was playing for Malpas in the Cheshire League, but Mike said he was better than that level.
“He is strong, rides challenges and is a good finisher and I should imagine he will play 30/35 games for us this season.”
Haworth also revealed he would like to keep central defender Chris Smalley whose loan from Stockport County expires in January.
He added Celtic would need a deal as they could not afford the wages he is on at Stockport.
Haworth is looking to bring in a left back as Burnley loanee Scott Wilson has fractured his ankle and will be out for up to 10 weeks.
Youngster Elliott Cooke has been deputising, but he is more of a right-sided player and Haworth says he doesn’t do himself justice not playing in his favoured position.
Sharp, who joined Celtic at the start of the season on non-contract forms, has joined FC United who made an approach for the 32-year-old striker and were able to offer the player a better financial package.
Goalkeeper Jake Turner’s loan from Bolton Wanderers ends in the first week of January and a decision will be made whether to ask Bolton Wanderers whether they are prepared to extend it.
Midfielder George Hughes, on loan from Shrewsbury Town until January, will be leaving as he has been unable to command a regular place.
The loan from Darlington of James Caton, who played in the Football League for Blackpool and Shrewsbury, won’t be extended in January as the winger’s stay was plagued by injury and illness.