NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Double boost for Godmanchester Rovers as they bid to stretch unbeaten run into 2018

Arran Mackay in action for Godmanchester Rovers.

Arran Mackay in action for Godmanchester Rovers. - Credit: Archant

Two key players have ignored interest from other clubs to stay at Godmanchester Rovers.

Jack Chandler (left) was wanted by Newmarket Town.

Jack Chandler (left) was wanted by Newmarket Town. - Credit: Archant

Top scorer Jack Chandler has snubbed an approach from Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division rivals Newmarket Town while central defender Arran Mackay has rejected a return to former club Mildenhall, who he helped to the title at this level last season.

“It’s great to keep hold of Jack and Arran,” said Rovers manager Ollie Drake, whose side are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions.

“They attracted interest from clubs who can offer a lot more money than ourselves, but it is fantastic they want to be part of what we’re building here.”

Rovers have signed defender Jamie Saunders from Step 6 side Potton to bolster their squad. He could feature in their first outing of 2018 when they host Wroxham this Saturday.

Fifth-placed Rovers saw their last 2017 fixture – at home to Stanway Rovers – postponed last weekend due to a waterlogged pitch.

And boss Drake understandably hopes the Wroxham clash does not suffer a similar fate after more wet weather in the early part of this week.

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He added: “We don’t want to find ourselves with a backlog of games towards the end of the season and we certainly don’t want to lose momentum after finishing 2017 so well.

“If anyone had said to me in October that we would be eight points off third place, I would have bitten their hand off.

“The progress we’ve made in the last month has been incredible and a lot of credit has to go to everyone involved.

“The message to the players is that we keep putting in performances, keep picking up points and keep this excellent run going for as long as possible,.

“We can now go into every game with confidence and the belief that we can win it.”

Drake reserved special praise for assistant boss Chris Hyem’s role in Rovers’ resurgence of late.

He continued: “I couldn’t do the job without Chris. He’s been a massive factor in building the squad and persuading players to return to the club. He’s also been key to the excellent morale in the camp.”