Roma: Signings’ non-league experience key

Jacob Hazel spent time with Frickley Athletic in the Northern Premier League last season.
Jacob Hazel spent time with Frickley Athletic in the Northern Premier League last season.

Gainsborough manager Dominic Roma believes that the new signings brought in over the summer will have an instant impact thanks to them all being experienced in non-league football.

Roma acted quickly to bring in a number of players shortly after the end of last season with the likes of Alex Wiles, Jacob Hazel, Jordan Thewlis and James Reid joining the club.

And he’s confident they will make their mark.

Roma said: “The lads we brought in were earmarked at the end of last season as players we wanted.

“These lads aren’t new to non league; Alex Wiles has had a season at Buxton, same with Jordan Thewlis and Jacob. He went to play for Mickleover after leaving Chesterfield.

“They all know what non-league is about, they aren’t fresh from the academies so they know how to deal with the physicality and that’s why we brought them in.

“This league is totally different from under 21s football that they would have played in in their respective academies. People will get stuck in to you, you won’t get any time on the ball, they will put you off your game.

“Every header is an aerial battle whereas at academy level they will let you head the ball. It’s all sit off each other and let you play so it is good that they have had that experience and they know what they are getting themselves into.”

Roma highlighted the goalscoring prowess of Hazel, who has already notched a couple of times in pre-season.

He said: “I brought Jacob to the club because wherever he has been, he has scored 20 goals a season. He is still young as well so will learn off the likes of Nathan Jarman.

“People are learning off each other all the time and Jacob has shown so far that his linkup play is superb and he’s settled in well with a couple of goals.”

Roma expects there to be further business before the first game of the season at home to Bradford Park Avenue as he tries to seal the deal for a couple more new faces.

He said: “There are two trialists that we are going to try and get on board. It all comes down to money really, you know we haven’t got a huge budget so if they are wanting too much money then it won’t happen. These guys, if they sign, should take us to a squad of 19 and that’s a good size to get everyone wanting to play for their shirts.”