BUILDING at Bury FC has begun with manager Andy Welsh bringing in a clutch of new signings following news that football will return to Gigg Lane next season.

The Shakers boss has wasted little time in shaping his squad for their NWCL Premier Division campaign, bringing in five new signings while he has also been reunited with a number of players who played under him at Bury AFC last season.

The club has also announced excited back-to-back pre-season friendlies against Bradford City and Preston North End over the weekend of July 8-9 to mark their return home to Gigg Lane.

The new era will include latest signing Tom Kilifin who follows Carl Dickinson, Darius Palma, Gareth Peet and Benito Lowe.

Former Bury AFC players Matty Williams, Jack Atkinson, Lewis Gilboy and Connor Comber have also linked up with Welsh again with more signings set to be announced.

Welsh said one of his main roles will be to get players used to playing in their new surroundings.

“One thing I am trying to do over the next couple of weeks is get every player down we want to sign for next year and just show them around so that they can visualise playing here at Gigg Lane,” he told the club website.

“Because that is a big thing, no matter what anyone says. Yes, it will be great to play for this football club here but there will be players who sometimes might not be able to handle that.
“So my job as manager, our job as staff is to get the players used to playing at this club and to enjoy it as well because it is going to be fantastic pitch, fantastic atmosphere and for some players at this level, it might be their only opportunity to play in a Football League stadium.”

One player who won’t have such problems is Dickinson who has more than 400 EFL appearances under his belt for the likes of Watford, Portsmouth and Stoke City who he helped gain promotion to the Premier League where he played a handful of games.

“Really excited about the opportunity to come and play at this historic club,” said the 36-year-old defender.

“To be able to have that buzz of walking out a tunnel to a crowd again was something I couldn’t miss along with the ambition the club and the gaffer have.”

Kilifin, who will link up with Bury from July 1, will bolster the forward line having scored 33 goals in 44 games for Kendal Town last season while Palma makes the switch from fellow NWCL Premier Division side Wythenshawe Town where he netted 19 times last term.

“Bury are a massive club and I am looking forward to helping them get back where they belong,” said Kilifin “Playing here at Gigg Lane in front of a big crowd every week, soon as I spoke with Andy there was only one place I wanted to be.”

“Aims for this season are to score as many goals as possible and gaining promotion out of this league.”
Like Dickinson, Atherton Collieries’ record appearance holder Peet will add experience in defence.

“I am really excited,” said the 33-year-old. “The history of the club and also the chance to help the club progress on the pitch is the main reason I’ve signed, I want to get promoted in front of all the fans is the aim.”
Welsh added: “Gaz is someone I’ve been monitoring for years now. He has an unbelievable engine to get up and down the pitch joining in attacks but also most importantly defensively very hard to beat.

“He has come from a much higher level and offers us the experience we need at the club to build on and add competition to an already very strong group of players and I’m pretty sure if he performs like we know he can he is a player that will be a firm fans favourite with his hard working performances.”

Lowe, like Palma, joins from Wythenshawe and Welsh says he is a player fans should get excited about.

The striker, who scored 22 goals last term, has also played for New Mills and Curzon Ashton and was once on the books at Sheffield United.
Welsh said: “Benito has had a fantastic year at Wythenshawe, he’s someone that came on the radar when he was at New Mills in the previous season.

“It’s his overall game, he knows he’s coming here to learn more about his game. He could be a really good addition and someone that the fans should get excited about.”
Bury’s pre-season build-up will begin at Thackley AFC on Saturday, July 1 then Hyde United on Tuesday, July 4 (7.45pm) before the two big homes games against Bradford City and Preston North End which will see the return of former Shakers player and manager Ryan Lowe.

The club have also announced details of match day and season tickets prices. For more information log on the club’s website at