RADCLIFFE FC announced the return of Shrewsbury loan striker Callum Grogan on a permanent deal as fans were given the first glimpse of a raft of new signings.

Joe Gibbons’ men followed up a 1-1 draw against Lytham, when he ran the rule over a host of trialists, with the same scoreline against Ashton United as they kicked off their pre-season.

But results are less important than performances at this stage, with the new season not due to kick off until August 12.

And the manager was happy with what he saw.

“We have pretty much started from scratch over the summer, so when you sign so many players the key thing is getting them all to gel together quickly,” said Gibbons.

“They need to get to know each other’s game and I need to see just what they can do, which is why these pre-season matches are very important.

“But I have been very impressed with the way the lads have gone about it and I am happy with the way the squad is shaping up. I would say we have got the top five or six targets on our list. One or two others got away but I think we have the making of a team that should be very competitive.”

Gibbons has concentrated on the spine of the team, making 6ft 5in goalkeeper Ryan Jones his number one target.

He followed up that signing with experienced left-back Joe Cullshaw and central midfielders Steven Williams and Carl Pierce. River Humphreys, who finished second in Wayne Rooney’s Street Star TV competition, has also joined, but perhaps the biggest coup is the arrival of Grogan. He was recalled by parent club Shrewsbury after a successful loan spell at Boro last season and after being released in the summer plumped to return to Stainton Park, where he will partner experienced front man Ryan Salmon.