Dolly Blues boss Mark Fell sets deadline for top target

Lancaster City boss Mark Fell has set long-time target Liam Brockbank a deadline of this weekend to decide if he will sign for the club.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 9:53 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:01 pm

The former AFC Workington ace has been training with the Dolly Blues since May and appeared for the club against Slyne with Hest on Tuesday night.

The left-sided defender – who was a youth team player with Carlisle United – has been mulling over his options.

There has been interest shown in him from clubs higher up the football pyramid but Fell believes his immediate interests will be served best by signing for the Dolly Blues.

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Liam Brockbank
Liam Brockbank

At the age of 20, Brockbank is at the stage in his career where he needs to play games regularly according to Fell and he has a much better chance of doing that if he moves to Giant Axe.

“I have spoken about Liam Brockbank in the past and the deal is still not over the line yet,” said Fell.

“It needs to be done by this weekend or it’s not getting done.

“He played for us on Tuesday and he did well. We know what he can do, what he’s about.

“We are all in agreement about where we want to go with it – it’s just getting it over the line.

“There was some interest in him from a National League North club last week and it’s not a case of we are fending them off because we are working in the lad’s best interest.

“I just think at this point, we are his best option to progress his career.

“I genuinely believe that because if he comes to us and does fantastically well, he is going to raise eye brows and we could lose him down the line. But at the moment he needs to have guaranteed regular football.

“That’s the message I have conveyed to him and now it’s down to him and his agent.”

While Brockbank has a deal on the table, Fell revealed this weekend will be the last opportunity for the many trialists who have been at pre-season training to impress him.

Having played three games this week against Garstang, Holker Old Boys and Slyne, Fell has given run outs to everyone.

However, the more established members of the squad will get a rest this weekend with those looking to win a deal expected to play again at Wyre Villa on Saturday.

“We are very close to making decisions,” said Fell. “We have been working with 30 players which is a lot.

“We can’t work with that number post this weekend.

“So the game against Wyre Villa will be the last opportunity for those trialists to impress.

“Our established players have had a good flogging from the sessions we have done and the games we have played.

“So the vast majority of them will not play this weekend.

“It will give us one final look at the players who have been on trial.

“We will then make the calls this weekend which will be difficult but that’s the nature of the job.

“I think from next week, we will want to work with a squad of 22 maximum .

“There are a few who have caught our eye already and we have put offers on the table for two players and now it’s up to them.”

In terms of the existing squad, Fell has yet to agree deals with Glenn Steel or Matty Blinkhorn but he is still hopeful that they will be part of his plans next season.

Meanwhile, a date has been set for Lancaster City’s long-awaited LFA Challenge Trophy final against Prestwich Heys.

The Dolly Blues will face the North West Counties outfit on August 2 at the County Ground in Leyland.

The final is carried over from the 2019/20 season when the Covid-19 pandemic brought a premature halt to that campaign.

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