Gainsborough Trinity’s hopes of a quick return to National League North were given a massive boost this week when experienced goal machine Ross Hannah returned to the club.
Hannah had a spell at Trinity back in 2006/07 before his record-breaking goalscoring at Matlock Town that led to him turning professional.
Hannah came to an arrangement with Chester to part ways last week and, despite offers elsewhere, chose to drop a level and return to Trinity.
“We are delighted to sign Ross,” said manager Lee Sinnott. “Looking at the quartet we’ve got now with Ash Worsfold, Alex Simmons and Damian Reeves, it gives us plenty of striking options and in my view, though there is nothing set in stone, the capability to score goals.
“Those four players have a history of scoring goals and it’s up to us now to give them a supply so they can carry on doing that.”
Still aged only 32, Hannah seems to have been around forever and Sinnott said: “Some players are like that aren’t they? He has been around a long, long time but there are more years left in him.
“We are seeing players play for longer now as they are better looked after, especially in the professional game, but that filters down into non-League as well.”
Few clubs at Evo-Stik NPL level will have such an exciting quartet of strikers, but Sinnott said: “You are always respectful of every club you face. We have just given ourselves more options.
“We may get a little bit of attention because of the four we’ve got, but that’s up to us to deal with.
“Obviously Ross is very experienced. I am sure he would have been courted by other people, but he showed a willingness to come to Gainsborough, which is tremendous – as it is for all our new signings and the ones who have stayed.
“It’s not just about our strikers, we’ve made additions all over. The spine of the team had to be secure and I think we are more or less on the road to that now.
“You have to have the capability not to concede as well as scored and, hopefully with the signings we have made and those who have stayed, that can be the case. But it’s going to take a lot of hard work.”
After his time at Gainsborough Trinity, when he scored seven times in 29 games, Hannah moved on to Matlock, where he won the NPL Golden Boot award during the 2009/10 season, scoring 37 goals in all competitions.
He then won both the Evo-Stik League Golden Boot and the Non-League Golden Boot awards for the 2010/11 season, having scored 52 goals in all competitions, in a season which saw him beat Matlock’s club goal-scoring record.
He turned professional in 2011 with Bradford City and has since had spells with Grimsby Town, Barrow and Chester.
Hannah himself Tweeted: “So 10 years or so on, I’m back at @GainsTrinityFC and happy to be back -? looking forward to meeting the lads tomorrow and getting started. Hopefully a successful season ahead.”
Trinity lost 2-0 at home to Barnsley in their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday after Tom Bradshaw netted two first half goals.
“No one likes to lose, but you have to take into consideration the whole picture,” said Sinnott.
“It was very good of Barnsley to come and play us at Gainsborough. They brought the whole first team squad in two different teams in each half.
“We weren’t in that position to put 22 out there though we did make changes.
“Of course Barnsley had more possession but I still saw bits and pieces that pleased me for the first game.”
Despite being offered a new deal, young Trinity midfielder Jordan Richards this week opted to join Kings Lynn for an undisclosed fee.