We can challenge for the title says happy Belper Town boss Grant Black

Craig Nelthorpe (left) in action for Belper.
Craig Nelthorpe (left) in action for Belper.

Belper Town boss Grant Black believes he has assembled a good enough squad to challenge for the Evo-Stik NPL South/East title next season.

Experienced Craig Nelthorpe agreed to stay at the club this week which Black believes is the final part of his jigsaw.

“I think we can push to try to win the league this year – I really do,” said Black.

“If we don’t get another player in I definitely think we have a strong enough squad to be competitive this year.

“We’ve had a season to bed ourselves in and get everyone used to what we expect.

“Everyone is on board with that and I think we will have even more support this year from what people saw last year – they really liked that.

“I think that will help us and spur us on and I think we will definitely be pushing to try to win the league.”

Black has already brought 10 new faces into the club and, with almost every player from last season re-signing, he is delighted with the current dressing room.

“I think that is us done now as we’ve got everything in we wanted to get in,” he said.

“We don’t want to bring too many in and upset the applecart.

“If something pops up that’s too good to be true and we can’t turn down then we will look at it.

“Otherwise we are now planning for our return on 29th June.”

Of last season’s players, the Nailers had been left waiting on a decision from left-sided utility player Nelthorpe, but he is now signed up.

“Craig was just wanting to weigh up a few options with his work but we’re over the moon he has committed. He is a big character for us in the dressing room,” said Black.

“He has the experience we need and he is someone who demands 100 per cent from everybody every week, so the more of them we’ve got the better.

“He is a player who gives that himself and which sometimes gets him into trouble, but we wouldn’t want him any other way.

“He is a winner and we are delighted he has committed to us.

“That is everyone on board now from last season, apart from losing Isaac Assenso to Scarborough and Piteu Crouz to Matlock.

“Everyone else has committed which gives us 18-20 players, which is what we want to work with in pre-season.

“We do have a few coming down who have contacted us, wanting to train and trial and throw their hat into the ring.

“One of them might end up being a diamond, but we are over the moon with what we have already.”