Heat is on to sign ex-PNE man Josh

Bamber Bridge are still waiting to see if former Preston youth team player Josh Heaton will become their third signing of the summer.

Brig are keen to sign ex-North End defender Josh Heaton
Brig are keen to sign ex-North End defender Josh Heaton

The tall centre-back has featured twice for Brig over the past week in pre-season games against his old club North End and Morecambe at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Having already signed goalkeeper Marcus Burgess on loan and swooped for 
left-back Lawrence Hunter, Brig boss Neil Crowe is keen to add Heaton to his squad.

However, the 19-year-old Penwortham lad, who was released by PNE boss Simon Grayson at the end of last season, is thought to be attracting interest from clubs in the Football League.

Championship outfits Reading and Wigan are rumoured to be keen to sign him for their Under-21 development squads.

And having featured for Tamworth in the National League over the past couple of seasons, clubs higher up the non-league pyramid may also be willing to offer him a deal.

“I think Josh has aspirations of getting back into the pro game, but he expressed an interest in coming and playing for us,” said Crowe.

“Fingers crossed I am hoping that we can keep him.

“He looks like he could be a good defender at this level. He’s a local lad, he only lives five minutes away. I think he’s enjoying his football with us and enjoying the training.”

One player who could also sign is Chris Churchman, who scored in the 2-1 defeat to PNE last Friday. He is also training with AFC Fylde and his future is yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, Crowe declared himself satisfied with his team’s performances against North End and Morecambe. He is hoping for more of the same tomorrow when Blackburn Rovers arrive at Irongate.

“Blackburn are bringing an Under-21s squad and what they will do is get the ball down and play, so it should be a good test for us,” Crowe said.

Meanwhile, Lancaster City boss Phil Brown is looking forward to facing good mate Tony Hesketh in the Dolly Blues’ latest pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Hesketh’s Fulwood Amateurs host City in a 3pm kick-off at Lightfoot Green Lane. Brown said: “Fulwood are in the West Lancashire League but they’ve got some decent players who’ve played at our level and higher.

“It will be more physical and competitive and more aligned with what we can expect when the league campaign kicks off.

“It is of course always good to see Tony as well.”

Elsewhere, Chorley host Airbus UK at Victory Park tomorrow, while Fylde travel to Nantwich Town.

Burscough have appointed David Powell as their new manager. Powell replaces Mark Beesley, who left Victoria Park during the summer. In recent seasons, Powell was assistant manager at Radcliffe Borough, Ashton United and Warrington Town.