02 May 2017 : Mark Houghton and Antony Hickey display staying power again
Michael Ellison has certainly been busy since Saturday's stunning end to the Linnets' season and there was clearly no such thing as a Bank Holiday break for our manager as he continued to recruit for next season!
That Mark Houghton and Antony Hickey are now tied up for 2017-18 will come as no surprise to followers of Runcorn Linnets.
As two of the players who stayed loyal during and after the mass exodus last summer, they are even bigger crowd favourites than they were before. And the pair have always been very popular!
Since being appointed as vice captain at the start of 2016-17 and reverting from his utiluty role to his most natural position as an out-and-out striker, Mark Houghton has been hugely impressive.
He has only enhanced his reputation as an excellent club man and on-field ambassador, who leads by example.
Not only does he just keep on running - and running - but he has continued scoring goals; none more impressive than his second-half winner at eventual champions, Atherton Collieries in March.
Boss Ellison said: 'Houghto is a pleasure to manage and he has clearly enjoyed reverting to his original role as a forward.
'He never seems to tire but the return of Freddie Potter in mid season took some of the weight off his shoulders and they have formed a very effective attacking spearhead.'
Fellow long-serving Antony Hickey is another whose work rate never ceases to amaze.
He too has played in a variety of roles and his conversion from a central striker to Runcorn's first-choice right side attacker means he creates numerous goals as well as scoring them.
Hickey was the hat-trick star of Linnets' 8-0 victory over AFC Darwen on Saturday.
Ellison added: 'Hickey is a very important player for Runcorn Linnets. It was a big lift when he stayed with us last summer and it is the same again.
'To have two more key men, like Houghto and Hickey, signed up for next season can only be good as our plans continue to take shape.'
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