Lancaster City boss hails his ‘Rolls Royce’ of a midfielder Niall Cowperthwaite

Lancaster City manager Mark Fell is delighted to have got his ‘Rolls Royce’ Niall Cowperthwaite signed up ready for when the new season eventually starts.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 8:00 am
Niall Cowperthwaite in action for Lancaster (photo: Tony North)

The midfielder was a big figure in the Dolly Blues’ promotion push before the 2019/2020 campaign was suspended and then curtailed.

With Fell’s aim to launch another promotion bid in 2020/21 – whenever that might be – he was anxious to get Cowperthwaite back on board again.

Fell told the Lancaster Guardian: “Niall was a top player for us last season.

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“Things actually went in peaks and troughs for him, he came in at the start of the season had a niggling injury which meant he had to miss a couple of weeks.

“When he got fit he was fantastic until Christmas, then he got another injury.

“Niall was probably our most consistent player.

“We use him in a holding midfield role, although at the end of the season he was playing centre-half.

“He’s a Rolls Royce for us, never breaks sweat and I don’t think you could get the ball off him in a phone box.

“You’d say that Niall is our insurance policy in terms of breaking things up, he’s 6ft 2in and a big imposing figure.

“We had an option on his contract but we had to move quickly knowing other clubs both at our level and at the level above were interested.

“He is the first to sign up and we are negotiating with a number of players, we have plenty of irons in the fire ready for when we might come back.”

Fell admits planning for the season ahead of difficult because there is no start date.

He thinks the Northern Premier League will be led by what the National League does but things are not exactly moving quickly.

September might be the most accurate guess at this time for 2020/21 to kick-off.

Fell said: “There are so many unknowns and I’ve no idea how clubs are meant to budget at the moment.

“From a playing point of view, we are only three weeks or so away from the time we would normally come back for pre-season training.

“We have puts plans into place for a pre-season where we socially distance for the first three weeks.

“We’ve got plan A, B, C and D, it is just a case of waiting to see which one.

“The lads are champing at the bit, they just want a bit of interaction with each other.

“It’s painful at the moment but we have to be patient.”