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08 May 2017 : Defenders Tom Hardwick and Chris Lawton to remain the centre of attention at The Millbank

Two of the more experienced members of the Runcorn Linnets squad have joined the ever-increasing band of players to announce they are staying.

Central defenders Chris Lawton and Tom Hardwick bring a lot of know-how to the Millbank Linnets Stadium ranks.

They are the ninth and 10th players to commit to the Linnets since the final match of the season nine days ago.

In Lawty's case, however, his major influence could from now on be brought to bear more on the coaching side than as a player.

The veteran centre half's playing involvement has been scaled down since the turn of the year with Tom getting most if the action alongside ever-present, Aaron Morris.

Chris has, however, shown that he can still do a job on the field and his man-of-the-match performance as an emergency replacement 'keeper, after a sending off in the Boxing Day derby against Runcorn Town, means that the 2016-17 season is one he will never forget.

Manager Michael Ellison said: 'Lawty returned to the club in pre-season when we were in real turmoil and his experience helped us to get through those early months when we were rebuilding.

'He is still more than capable of playing but will now be just as vital to us in the backroom. He has previously been assistant manager at Barnton.

'With Danny Salt no longer able to commit to his coaching role, this is a perfect time for Chris to get more involved behind the scenes. He will still be registered for us as a player.'

Tom Hardwick came back to Linnets in January of this year after serving Colwyn Bay in the Evo-Stik League.

His involvement at the higher level - Tom also played NPL football with Warrington Town - has been invaluable in establishing Linnets as one of the most difficult teams to beat in The Hallmark Security League.

'Tom has bags of experience and is a commanding figure at the heart of our defence, next to Aaron,' added boss Ellison.

'They have played a big part in us having one of the best goals-against records in the Premier Division - bettered only by the champions, Atherton Colls.

'Tom has been in and around football at our level for several years now and it is reassuring to have someone of his stature heading up our defensive unit.'

Recent Headlines

25 Jul : Runcorn beat Eagle Sports 8-0

22 Jul : Runcorn beat Middlewich Town 1-9

20 Jul : Visit to Prescot is added to pre-season schedule

19 Jul : Great prizes to be won in our Millbank Golf Day raffle - tickets now on sale

18 Jul : Runcorn lose to Marine 0-1

15 Jul : Runcorn beat Witton Albion 4-2

14 Jul : Former Supporters Club chairman Stan Mayhew dies at 96

11 Jul : Linnets gear up for 200 Club recruitment drive ahead of fundraising switch

11 Jul : James Eastup takes place on board after co-option

08 Jul : August league fixtures are released

08 Jul : Runcorn beat Conwy Borough FC 1-6

07 Jul : Draw released for The Emirates FA Cup 2017-18

28 Jun : First-team physio needed at Runcorn Linnets

27 Jun : Regular fan Ellis is programmed for editor's role

25 Jun : Volunteers do the ground work for season ahead

24 Jun : Jack is Runcorn Linnets' latest signing - at a day old!

20 Jun : Support is needed to keep Travel Club on the road

17 Jun : Macron Challenge Cup draw

14 Jun : Skelmersdale United fill July 29th friendly vacancy

13 Jun : Runcorn Linnets seek replacement opposition for home friendly on July 29th

06 Jun : First refusal on 2017-18 player sponsorship to last season's sponsors

01 Jun : Runcorn Linnets youth team chosen to represent Runcorn & District

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