Crows on the verge of quadruple signing

Hatfield four close to Garden Walk move

ROYSTON TOWN are on the verge of making a quadruple signing from fellow SSMFL Premier League side Hatfield Town.

Hatfield skipper John McGrandles plus Jason Beck, Martin Standen and Matt Standen all approached Crows boss Paul Attfield recently speaking of their desire to leave the Blueboys for pastures new at Garden Walk and their additions would mark an exciting coup for the club.

Attfield is a big fan of all four players, who can play in pretty much every outfield position, after coming up against them on numerous occasions throughout his managerial career and says they will bring strength and leadership to his squad.

“Martin is a particular favourite of mine,” said Attfield.

“He is a senior player who gives you a lot of experience in centre midfield and he should really be playing at a higher level.

“I’ve known all four players since I was at Buntingford and the effort levels they put in are there in black and white. They are all leaders and, in the long run, they will be good for the team.

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“I can’t remember during my time here that we’ve been able to bully a team and – after seeing how we went from the great performance against Leiston to that against Hillingdon Borough – that was a pivotal factor from my point of view. At the moment, with the squad we’ve got I don’t think we have enough to get out of this league.”

Attfield is hopeful all four players will be able to sign in time for Saturday’s match away at Hertford Town but they must firstly de-register with Hatfield before they can become Royston players. All documentation must be completed and sent off to the league before 3pm on Friday if they are to turn out for Royston the following afternoon.

None of the four players are under contract at Hatfield but it would have still been impossible for Royston to sign them had they not approached Attfield of their own accord and offer to de-register with Hatfield. Under league rules no club can make an approach for more than two players from another club during the same season.

They have already been to one training session with the Crows and Attfield says they really enjoyed it.

Hatfield manager, Adam Parker, speaking recently when he was only aware of McGrandles and Martin Standen’s impending departure, said he is disappointed to see the pair leave.

“Unfortunately we just can’t compete with the likes of Royston financially,” said Parker.

“They have come in for John and Martin, and offered them decent money.

“Both of them said they felt they needed a fresh start. Obviously we are going to miss John’s leadership qualities but we have a squad capable here of dealing with their departures.

“I have told the boys that I wish them luck, and that if it doesn’t work out they are welcome back here.”

It has not been decided whether or not any of Attfield’s new additions will be placed on contracts but the Crows boss has indicated that he would like to get a foundation of players signed up to contracts in order to prevent them leaving the club and prevent the club from moving forward.

However, on the flip side he has made it clear that despite the abilities of any particular player, it is still a financial risk to hand out contracts to players who may, for whatever reason, fail to be 100 per cent committed to the club – as was the case non-contracted goalkeeper Lee Robinson who recently left Garden Walk for Hertford after making just 15 appearances when a seven-day approach was made for his services by his former team.