AFC Emley midfielders Josh Ingham and Jonny Irving are training at Stocksbridge Park Steels with a view to signing for the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club.
And while Emley boss Daz Hepworth would be sorry to lose the pair, who could feature in Friday’s home friendly against Sheffield United, any transfers would be with his blessing.
“It’s always been our philosophy that if players have the chance of stepping up, they should go for it,” said Hepworth, who was frustrated by the loss of a string of key men to Northern Counties East League rivals Shaw Lane Aquaforce last season.
“By stepping up, I mean going into the Evo-Stik League or above, and it’s a compliment to us that Stocksbridge are looking at our players.
“Should they leave, we will keep them on dual-registration, and if they went and things didn’t work out, they would be more than welcome to return.”
Relegated from the NPL Premier Division last season, Stocksbridge are preparing for life in the First Division South under the management of Chris Hilton, who will be assisted by former Emley favourite Mark Wilson.
Last season’s top scorer Nathan Joynes and former Burton Albion midfielder James Knowles have re-signed while Hilton has also brought in ex-Ossett Town frontman Lee Garside.
Emley, meanwhile, have also completed dual registration for their former midfielder Aaron Joseph, one of three Huddersfield-based players to sign for NPL Premier Division side Frickley Athletic.
Like striker Ash Flynn and defender John Cyrus, who have also joined Frickley, former Bay Athletic player Joseph left Emley for Shaw Lane last summer. He switched to Pontefract Collieries in March.
Emley are in friendly action against Shelley at Storthes Hall on Tuesday, July 8 (7.00) and also have warm-up matches at home to Glossop North End on Tuesday, July 22, Ossett Town seven days later and Brighouse Town on Friday, August 1.
There’s a visit to Handsworth Parramore on Tuesday, August 5 before a home game against a Town XI on Thursday, August 7.
The new NCEL season is due to start on Saturday, August 9, with fixtures due out later this month.
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