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20 Jun 2018 : Runcorn Linnets hold on to midfielder Kieran Nolan

The holding midfield player can often be an unsung hero of a team but no one at Runcorn Linnets under estimates the value of Kieran Nolan.

Be it breaking up the play, collecting second balls, supporting or shielding the defence with crucial blocks and tackles or setting up colleagues to make the play, Kieran goes about his work with aplomb.

His contribution in front of the back four certainly doesn't go unnoticed by manager Michael Ellison as a one-time defensive midfieldman himself.

The boss is suitably delighted, therefore, that Kieran will be staying at the club for 2018-19.

Kieran has made himself a regular starter in the pivotal position and because of his maturity, it is easy to forget that he is still one of the youngsters of the team.

'Kieran is still only 21 but prior to joining us in January of last year when he was just short of his 20th birthday, he had been captain of Northwich Vics in the EVO-STIK League,' said Ellison. 'That tells you an awful lot.

'He had been a centre half at Vics and has slotted in there for us the odd time during games.

'But for me, he is perfectly suited to the holding midfield role and he has done a great job for us in there.

'It's one of the more glamorous positions but it's one of the most important - but I would say that, wouldn't I?'

Ellison added: 'Kieran is growing as a player, proving himself to be a good learner in different aspects.

'I am sure he will be looking to continue that development as he steps back up to the EVO-STIK League.'

19 Jun 2018 : Record breaker Matt Atherton bids farewell to Linnets

MATT Atherton, holder of the record for most Linnets appearances and dubbed 'Mr Runcorn' by fans, is saying his goodbyes at the club.

Athers, who first played in the Yellow & Green in 2010, fulfilled his dreams of long-awaited title success in 2017-18.

A memorable season also saw him become the first to make 300 first team games for Linnets.

His departure will inevitably sadden supporters but is not that unexpected.

On setting the new appearances mark in January, Athers had hinted that his senior non-league career was reaching an end.

He has been a terrific servant to the Murdishaw outfit.

After playing in a variety of positions over the years, he unexpectedly ended up at the end of the title-winning campaign as a centre half.

Typically, he excelled in the new role.

Athers, a school teacher by profession, started at the club as a winger but had more recently converted to defence as a left back.

He has also operated for Linnets as a central striker and even as an emergency goalkeeper!

Athers is now to return to the local club in the Chorley area, which he first served in his youth.

'I'm signing for Euxton Villa in the West Lancs Premier as player- coach - mainly because of work commitments/travel, due to starting new job as as an assistant head in Bolton,' he explained.

'It's also a chance to get more coaching experience.'

When interviewed at the start of the year, Athers had admitted: 'Coaching is a big passion of mine and I'm hopeful of achieving my UEFA A Licence in the next year or two.

'I manage two teams - one being the district u15s team for Manchester and the other being the Greater Manchester u14s County Team.

'I'm fortunate to work with some fantastic players, some of whom have gone into professional football.

'I was recently shortlisted for the England u18s schoolboys manager role and I certainly see this a target for the future.'

Athers had returned to the MLS in September 2017 for his third spell, having twice left for EVO-STIK football.

He has enjoyed every minute of his time with the Linnets and clearly doesn't rule out another Runcorn comeback further down the line.

'Who knows where I will end up coaching?,' he'd said in that January. 'You only need to look at Ello and Crossy to see the draw this club has on you!'

Manager Michael Ellison said: 'What more can you say about Matt Atherton?

'The word legend is sometimes over used but Matt is certainly a legend in these parts. We certainly hope that it is au revoir rather than goodbye and he will pop down when he can because the place certainly won't seem the same without him.'

Club chairman, Mark Buckley said: 'Matt has been an absolute credit to the club and himself, both on and off the field.

'We all think the world of him and he'll be truly missed. But at the same time, we realise and appreciate that it is time for him to move on, in terms of his career.

'On behalf of the fans we say thanks for all the memories, Matt and we wish you all the very best for the future.'

19 Jun 2018 : Simmo brings staying power to Runcorn Linnets

THE Linnets faithful can carry on singing one of their favourite songs!

'We've got Michael Simpson' became one of the signature tunes last season in recognition of the workaholic midfielder's efforts.

The good news is Simmo has agreed terms for next season and fans will be again be able to belt out the vocal tribute to their hearts' content.

Simmo is another player with a good EVO-STIK League pedigree, having served Skelmersdale United in two spells as well as Prescot Cables from where he rejoined Linnets in December 2016.

Now in his third spell with the Linnets, Simmo is the real driving force of the team in central midfield with his speed and zest.

He also possesses a lethal shot from distance.

'Simmo contributes great energy to the team,' said manager Michael Ellison.

'I was fortunate enough to be able to bring him back to the Linnets early in my time as manager and he has been a brilliant signing for me.

'He has the ability to cover a lot of ground quickly both in attack and defence and the beauty with Simmo is that he just keeps going for a full 90 minutes.

'As a few clubs have learned over the years, he has quite a shot in his armoury too.'

17 Jun 2018 : Kris Holt agrees terms for coming season

Kris Holt is looking forward to another tilt at EVO-STIK League football - this time with Runcorn Linnets.

All-action attacking midfielder Kris has committed to the Linnets' cause for 2018-19 after being a key component of last season's title success in The Hallmark Security League.

It will mean a relatively swift return to Step Four football, which he sacrificed in the first half of last season to rejoin the Linnets after a spell in the EVO-STIK with Atherton Colls.

The player's dual registration allowed him to answer a late-October SOS to play for the injury-ravaged Linnets in a home FA Vase replay against Team Northumbria.

He featured for good measure in the memorable win in the next round at Sunderland RCA in mid November. This helped to 100% convince Kris that The Millbank was the place he wanted to be.

Kris was amply rewarded with a major part in the Linnets' run to the Premier Division championship.

Manager Michael Ellison said: 'I think we all saw last season the kind of lad Holty is when he made that long midweek trip to Sunderland when he had been playing at Colls since the second game of the season.

'If you remember, he set up the winning goal for Mark Houghton.

'He has a great engine, excellent positional awareness and the important ability to score goals.'

The manager added: 'His previous spell in the EVO-STIK will have benefitted him and will also help us. It is always useful to have experience of the level you are going to be playing at and I have no doubt Kris will continue to be a big asset for us going forward.'

14 Jun 2018 : Adam Jones heads for pastures new at Padiham

Runcorn Linnets' young utility man Adam Jones has opted to depart The Millbank Linnets Stadium.

The player is expected to stay in The Hallmark Security League Premier Division by joining Padiham.

Linnets boss Michael Ellison said: 'This was very much Adam's decision. We are disappointed to see him leave but wish him well.'

Adam made 35 appearances for the club after arriving last pre-season, scoring twice.

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