Bobby Grant has bolstered his defensive ranks as Radcliffe FC prepare for their new NPL Premier Division campaign, writes Kieran Wilson.

Following last week’s eye-catching signatures of former Oldham winger Nicky Adams and Luke Joyce, the Boro boss has moved again to bring in Ben Rydel and David Fitzpatrick - the club’s fifth and sixth signings of the summer.

Rydal is no stranger to the Neuven Stadium, the right back having spent two loan spells at the club last season but he has now signed on a permanent deal from Salford City.

“I’m buzzing to be back, I enjoyed it when I came here last season,” said Rydel who made an impression with the Boro fans after scoring on his debut against Buxton last season. “The experience was important for me with it being my first season in men’s football. I learnt a lot last season, not only going forward but working on the defensive side as well.

“I played a lot at full back last season which isn’t my usual position but I think I developed a lot in those areas.”

Fitzpatrick will add experience to the defensive ranks after joining from National League side Chester City.

The 32-year-old is no stranger to non-league football, having featured for the likes of Southport and Altrincham.

However he does have a number of EFL appearances to his name, playing 61 times for Macclesfield Town in League Two in 2018/19 having featured in all 46 of the Silkmen’s National League title-winning season the previous year.

He then went on to join Port Vale in the summer of 2020, going on to play 22 times for the Valiants alongside now Radcliffe-teammate, Luke Joyce.

Fitzpatrick also adds international prowess, having played a small number of games for England’s C team in the 2013-14 season. He made three appearances for the youth side, coming up against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia in two friendlies and an International Challenge Trophy tie.

It has been a busy summer for Boro who finished in 16th place last season with Grant bringing in half a dozen new faces.

First in through the door was goalkeeper Tom Stewart from Ramsbottom United before another ex-Rams player, winger Jake Thompson joined after leaving Bamber Bridge.