Wilson wheels and deals as squad keeps growing

Manager Kevin Wilson's building work gained pace as he prepared Ilkeston Town for the Blue Square North campaign this week.

After announcing four signings, he checked several triallists during the 2-0 win at Banbury United on Saturday and Tuesday’s game with Worksop Town, as he works towards a settled squad.

Among those on trial were two defenders, former Tranmere Rovers player Luke Waterfall and Tom Bonner, who used to play for Northampton Town and was with Corby last season.

“We are doing all right with our preparation. I am happy with the signings,” said Wilson whose last pre-season game is at Mansfield Town on Monday.

Cash from the Field Mill gate will be paid to Ilkeston as part of the deal struck around Christmas when David Holdsworth left to manage the Stags.

Wilson has cancelled a trip to Sheffield FC, which had been fixed for the now-disbanded reserve side.

Midfielder Dan Holmes, who played for Burton Albion during their promotion season, has joined the Robins. He played for 45 minutes in the opening friendly at Quorn and opted for Ilkeston rather than other clubs, including one in the Conference Premier.

Dan Lowson looks set to take over the goalkeeping jersey from Chris Adamson, who has joined Hereford United as player coach. The 21-year-old played for Newcastle Blue Star last year but has also been on the books of Scottish side Gretna.

Another signing, Liam Green, also 21, has played for Boston United and Burton, where he appeared in midfield with 22-year-old Holmes.

The energetic Mitchell Griffiths, 18, has also arrived from the Pilgrims after training with Ilkeston for several weeks. He usually plays on the right of midfield but can provide cover further back.

Following the Worksop game, former Celtic triallist Joe Harris also joined up as Wilson keeps building a squad with one eye on developing young players.

The 18-year-old played during the first half on Tuesday, partnering Gary Ricketts as a striker. He was with Swansea as a boy but recently spent ten days with the Scottish giants before agreeing to playing in the Blue Square North.

Wilson said: “He is a lad with a lot of potential and needs to learn the game, like a lot of the lads here. We can help and are glad to have him here.”

The manager has organised a private game against Sutton Town on Friday before taking the squad to Mansfield Town on Monday.

He was disappointed with the first half display against Worksop but much happier by the end. The Robins turned a half-time deficit into a 3-1 win over the Unibond Premier side.

Wilson said: "In the first half, we never turned up but then we changed it to 4-3-3. We moved the ball a lot quicker, created more chances and got behind them.

“I will not tolerate performances like that in the first half. We lacked attitude, didn't show determination and got into a situation we should not have been in.”

Because of his wish to look at players on trial, he did not include new captain Kieran Murphy or winger Sam Duncum.

Wilson added: “Pre-season is pre-season and you don't get any points for that. We just have to make sure we are ready.”

Two former Ilkeston midfielders have signed for Unibond Premier side Boston, who are managed by ex-Robins bosses Paul Hurst and Rob Scott.

Danny Sleath and Anthony Church agreed deals in the last few days.

Meanwhile, the club is seeking an enthusiastic person to edit the matchday programme. Anyone interested should call the club on 0115 944 2949. Applicants can also write to the New Manor Ground, Awsworth Road, Ilkeston.