EXTRA-TIME: Lancaster City’s college link more vital than ever

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In the face of further budget cuts, ADAM LORD looks at why the link between Lancaster City and Myerscough College has never been more important.

When it was announced Lancaster City assistant boss Phil Brown was leaving Giant Axe, one thing crossed many fans’ minds.

Would he take his prodigiously talented youngsters with him?

That is no disrespect to the man himself, the former City striker’s contribution has been immense from the technical area, but the link with the college has seen players such as Jordan Connerton ply their trade in Dolly Blue before making their jump to the pro game.

Tony Hesketh confirmed this week, to the delight of all City fans, that the ties between the college and Giant Axe were going to stay as strong as ever, despite Brown’s departure, to be replaced by Dolly Blues legend Barrie Stimpson.

The reunited management pair will need to link more than ever in the face of the reduced playing budget revealed by chairman Mick Hoyle in the past week.

The link is vital not only in terms of the exciting young talent it will put at their disposal, with the likes of Rhys Turner and Joe Bunney looking like the next ones off the production line, but also in terms of the financial benefits it could bring to the Dolly Blues.

Top goalscorer Danny Hattersley’s move to Stockport is the perfect example.

The deal has a sell-on clause attached, agreed to the benefit of both the college and City, meaning the more the Isle of Man forward continues to show the form he has since moving to the Edgeley Park in March, which has seen him score six goals in eight games for the Hatters, the more the Dolly Blues look set to benefit from the deal.

The cutting of the club’s playing budget may provoke grumbles amongst some but it is being done for all the right reasons.

Ever since entering administration in 2007, Hoyle and his other dedicated board members have ensured the club finished in the black.

Prudent management is rightly taking precedence over chasing the promotion dream.

City should be thankful, not only for their ties with the college, something that other non-league clubs would do well to follow, but also that owners really care about the club, something fans of some clubs up and down the land, and up and down the football pyramid, would kill for.