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08 May 2017 : Defenders Tom Hardwick and Chris Lawton to remain the centre of attention at The Millbank

Two of the more experienced members of the Runcorn Linnets squad have joined the ever-increasing band of players to announce they are staying.

Central defenders Chris Lawton and Tom Hardwick bring a lot of know-how to the Millbank Linnets Stadium ranks.

They are the ninth and 10th players to commit to the Linnets since the final match of the season nine days ago.

In Lawty's case, however, his major influence could from now on be brought to bear more on the coaching side than as a player.

The veteran centre half's playing involvement has been scaled down since the turn of the year with Tom getting most if the action alongside ever-present, Aaron Morris.

Chris has, however, shown that he can still do a job on the field and his man-of-the-match performance as an emergency replacement 'keeper, after a sending off in the Boxing Day derby against Runcorn Town, means that the 2016-17 season is one he will never forget.

Manager Michael Ellison said: 'Lawty returned to the club in pre-season when we were in real turmoil and his experience helped us to get through those early months when we were rebuilding.

'He is still more than capable of playing but will now be just as vital to us in the backroom. He has previously been assistant manager at Barnton.

'With Danny Salt no longer able to commit to his coaching role, this is a perfect time for Chris to get more involved behind the scenes. He will still be registered for us as a player.'

Tom Hardwick came back to Linnets in January of this year after serving Colwyn Bay in the Evo-Stik League.

His involvement at the higher level - Tom also played NPL football with Warrington Town - has been invaluable in establishing Linnets as one of the most difficult teams to beat in The Hallmark Security League.

'Tom has bags of experience and is a commanding figure at the heart of our defence, next to Aaron,' added boss Ellison.

'They have played a big part in us having one of the best goals-against records in the Premier Division - bettered only by the champions, Atherton Colls.

'Tom has been in and around football at our level for several years now and it is reassuring to have someone of his stature heading up our defensive unit.'

Recent Headlines

23 Jun : Two 'keepers hold up hands to be No.1 at The Millbank

22 Jun : Double Player of the Year Jimmy aims for Moore headlines

20 Jun : Runcorn Linnets hold on to midfielder Kieran Nolan

19 Jun : Record breaker Matt Atherton bids farewell to Linnets

19 Jun : Simmo brings staying power to Runcorn Linnets

17 Jun : Kris Holt agrees terms for coming season

14 Jun : Adam Jones heads for pastures new at Padiham

12 Jun : Boss tips Mitch Bryant to take big chance to shine

11 Jun : Mark Houghton will extend long stay but surgery must come first

10 Jun : Aaron Morris agrees terms for new season deal

09 Jun : Stuart Wellstead leaves Linnets to move into management

07 Jun : Trio drafted on to Trust Board

07 Jun : Patrons Fund launched to further support Ello and Crossy

05 Jun : Chris Lawton is added to Linnets coaching staff after hanging up boots

05 Jun : Michael Ellison scoops Hallmark Security League Premier Division Manager of the Year award

04 Jun : Linnets to host Widnes in Reusch Champions Cup

31 May : Louis Corrigan to step back up with Linnets

31 May : Hot shot Freddie is primed for EVO-STIK campaign

29 May : Paul Shanley is staying with Runcorn Linnets

28 May : Kyle Hamid commits to the Linnets

28 May : Michael Ellison Withdraws Resignation

25 May : Michael Ellison Resignation - Club Statement

20 May : Season tickets for EVO-STIK League debut go on sale as first friendlies are announced

11 May : Jimmy Moore and Freddie Potter are big winners at Linnets' end-of-season presentations

11 May : Commons congratulations for champions Runcorn Linnets

10 May : Runcorn Linnets allocated place in EVO-STIK League Division One West

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