Luis Reece signs as Leyland's professional but won't play against Morecambe this weekend

Leyland are hoping the signing of Luis Reece as professional will help kick-start their summer – despite the fact that he is unlikely to play on a regular basis.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 8:00 am

The Derbyshire all-rounder has agreed to be the club’s official paid man this season – thus resolving an issue which was becoming a problem at Fox Lane. Initially, the club had agreed a deal for South African professional Jean du Plessi to be their overseas star.

However, due to the Covid-19 situation, he has not travelled to the UK and it has resulted in the club going into the opening six Northern League fixtures without a pro.

And the fact that they had no pro signed on meant they were unable to move for a sub-professional on a game-by-game basis.

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Derbyshire all-rounder Luis Reece (photo:GettyImages)

Leyland are already without a number of their 2019 title-winning stars, who have moved on to fresh challenges, and their new-look side has struggled without the guidance of a pro.

That has seen them fail to win any of their opening six games – albeit two have been rained-off – and they currently sit bottom of the table.

But the signing of Reece – who played for the club as an amateur previously – means they can now sign sub-professionals – with Sri Lankan Saliya Saman expected to play at Morecambe this weekend.

“I would say two of the four games we have lost this season, the games were won by the opposition pro and obviously we have not had a pro,” said captain David Makinson.

“We can’t sign an overseas pro now, it’s too late. So what we have done is sign Luis. He’s hoping to play a few games for us before the end of the season but now that we have got a pro signed on, we can start employing sub-pros which we haven’t been able to do.

“Luis won’t play this weekend but we have got Suliya this weekend – he played for Garstang last week and has been around the league scene for quite a long time.

“We have missed a pro but we’ve also missed the several really good players who have left from 2019. But I don’t think we have been too far away in most of the games and there’s certainly no panic.”

Saturday's fixtures

Northern League: Chorley v Netherfield, Fleetwood v Blackpool, Fulwood and Broughton v Longridge, Kendal v Lancaster, Morecambe v Leyland, St Annes v Garstang.

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