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|Trio Added to Stalybridge Squad|
|Monday 21 December 20 I 10:11:46|
Celtic have moved to replace several players that have departed the club during the season break to try and bring the squad back to its pre-lockdown size with injuries also affecting the squad.
Ben Woods and Kyle Hawley have departed Bower Fold, whilst Jordan Helliwell, James Ellison and Jack Baxter have returned to their parent clubs.
Manager Simon Haworth told https://www.stalybridgeceltic.co.uk: “Ben Woods has gone on trial in Spain as far as I know, and Kyle Hawley has gone back to Glossop and it probably looks like it’s going to be permanent.
“Will Goodwin, Lewis Salmon and Jordan Helliwell have all gone back to their parent clubs.”
Celtic have brought in strikers Wharton and Lomas to fill the void left by the departures of Goodwin and Salmon. Haworth said: “We felt we needed a nine with Will Goodwin going back to Chester and Lewis Salmon going back to Altrincham, so we are really light up top and we felt even before the break we needed a bit more muscle and strength up there.”
Wharton (pictured) is an experienced striker who joins from NPL Division One North West side Runcorn Linnets where he had been since January 2020 but prior to his spell with the Linnets, he had made 263 appearances for Radcliffe, scoring 87 goals in two different spells for the club.
He played a big part in Radcliffe’s promotion to the NPL Premier Division in 2018/19.
The 30-year-old has featured for Rochdale in the Football League as well as listing Northwich Victoria, Mossley and Warrington Town as previous clubs.
Haworth feels that Wharton’s signing will help Celtic play the football that he wants the club to play, he said: “Ben is an experienced target man, he’s done really well at Radcliffe and a few other places.
“Ben will come in and hold the ball up to allow us to play the football we want to play.”
Lomas is a highly rated young striker who arrives after departing SkyBet League One side Crewe Alexandra during the summer.
The 19-year-old left Crewe at the end of last season and has experience of playing in the Northern Premier League, having spent time on loan at Nantwich Town last season before the division was cut short.
Lomas scored once in three games during his brief stint with The Dabbers, scoring Nantwich’s second goal in a win over Witton Albion.
Aaron impressed Haworth in training and has been rewarded with a deal at Bower Fold, Haworth added: “Aaron’s had a bit of a funny year, he’s probably been the victim of Covid like a few players this year, as in he’s got released, gone on trial to a few places but it’s all just been a bit stop start.
“He’s trained well for us and we’re going to give him a chance.”
With full-backs Ellison and Helliwell returning to Marine and Barnsley respectively, Celtic have also lost Kallum Mantack and Mike Burke to injury which has caused Haworth to act. He said: “Mike Burke is injured at the moment as well as Kallum Mantack who was injured in a car crash which is frustrating.
“We’re sort of bare bones in the full-back areas at the moment as well with James and Jordan having gone back to their clubs.”
Arriving on-loan from Oldham Athletic is full-back Sean Higgins who signs on `work experience`.
Higgins is an 18-year-old first year scholar at Oldham, having joined them from Wigan Athletic.
He has featured heavily for Oldham in the FA Youth Cup this season and featured in pre-season friendly against Accrington Stanley in August.
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