Holdsworth makes first Robins signings

NEW manager David Holdsworth got his Robins' revolution off to a brisk start this week but faced a transfer request from striker Adam Muller.

He snapped up centre back Tom Jones from Unibond South side Sheffield FC and also got forward Sam Duncum, who has just been freed by Division Two side Rotherham.

Muller, who has scored 49 goals in 110 games, said he needs "a fresh start" but Holdsworth hopes to convince him that can be achieved at the New Manor Ground.

"Goalscorers are a prime asset and I'd desperately like Adam to stay. It's a big disappointment he wants to leave.

"However I will not stand in anybody's way if they want to leave Ilkeston Town Football Club. We will deal with this in a professional manner.

"He will come back for the pre-season work and if his mind is not changed he will be allowed to move on. But there will be fresh players and a new desire and I know he will enjoy that.

"We have the opportunity for success although nothing is guaranteed but I believe my methods will suit Adam Muller," said Holdsworth.

If Muller left, a club would have to pay a transfer fee because he is on contract. He signed a deal which gave the Robins the right to extend it for next season - and this option has been activated.

Holdsworth said:"If he feels it is right for him to move on, then it will have to be right for the club as well but I hope he will stay."

In his in-tray, the manager is delighted to welcome his first signings with Jones making the short trip down the M1 from the world's oldest football club. The 27-year-old has been at Sheffield for four seasons and twice won the coveted Player of the Year award.

He has also played for Worksop Town, Gainsborough and Buxton. "I am very pleased to have got him. We gave away 72 goals last year and we have to shore up the defence.

"He is a big centre back with great quality and is a leader," said Holdsworth who expects to remain busy in the transfer market.

The 21-year-old Duncum arrives with a ringing endorsement from Rotherham manager Mark Robins, the former Manchester United striker. He can play on the left or through the middle and was twice a first team substitute in the Football League Division Two last season as well as in cup games.

He also went on loan to York City in the Conference Premier last season. Holdsworth said:"He has pace and quality and we are delighted to have him here.

"He was highly regarded by Mark Robins and that is good to hear," said Holdsworth, who will start pre-season training on the weekend of June 28 and 29. He added:"The only frustration is that we can't start today.

"I can't wait. Everybody is looking forward to it." He is working on a list of pre-season friendlies, which may be changed from those provisionally agreed by former manager Nigel Jemson.

But Leicester City and Mansfield Town are still likely to be among the summer visitors to the New Manor Ground. There could well be games against Retford and Shepshed Dynamo, although these could be away fixtures.