Brown’s keeping busy

New manager Phil Brown back at Giant Axe.  Picture: Tony North.

New manager Phil Brown back at Giant Axe. Picture: Tony North.

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New Lancaster City boss Phil Brown admits football has almost been secondary after a busy time in the transfer market.

The Dolly Blues chief, who got his first win at the helm with a 3-2 victory over Ossett Town on Saturday, has overseen plenty of comings and goings, with the departure of Garry Hunter the most high-profile amongst them.

The former Morecambe midfielder has joined Kendal Town after being allowed to leave the club as Brown looked to free up room in his budget.

Former Stockport County man Chris Churchman took Hunter’s shirt in the middle of the park for the win over Ossett and the 2-1 defeat to Clitheroe on Tuesday night – but the 20-year-old joined National League side 
Macclesfield on Wednesday.

Having already tied goalkeeper Mike Hale down to a contract, Brown has also been battling to keep hold of striker Aaron Taylor who has been the subject of approaches from Workington and Glossop North End.

Central midfielder Tommy Watson has, however, arrived from Kendal Town, with Brown targeting another signing in that area.

The returning Rob Henry is the other new face at Giant Axe with the full-back set to take up a player-coach role.

He said: “I’m trying to recruit and get a little bit more depth on one side while also working to keep the registered players. There was a seven-day notice on Mike Hale when I arrived and now there’s Aaron.

“The football is almost secondary at the moment. Hopefully it’ll settle down.”

Brown says the decision to let Hunter move on after two years with the club was a difficult, but necessary, one.

The City boss said: “It was a really difficult decision.

“Garry is good player but like all managers I’ve got a budget to manage and it allowed us to talk to four or five players.”

Brown feels the move has been justified and is encouraged with the players who have arrived despite losing Churchman after just two games.

He said: “Rob will come in as a player-coach but won’t be filling the assistant manager role.

“I value his input and he’s a good coach but he’s still got a lot to offer on the pitch so didn’t want to constrain him as an assistant.”

The Dolly Blues travel to Witton Albion on Saturday before returning to Wincham Park for the second time in a few days to face Northwich Victoria on Wednesday, unless Vics’ FA Cup tie with Chorley goes to a replay. Matty Poole could return after the birth of his child with Jacob Davis also back from suspension.