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Two Youngsters Sign!

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 02/06/2004

TWO young players have put pen to paper on short-term contracts with the Mariners, making up the number of players now on the Blundell Park books to eight. Midfielder Ashley Hildred (1 year) and striker David Soames (6 months) are the first of eight youngsters to commit their future to the club.

Graham Hockless, David Soames, Darren Mansaram, Jonathan Rowan, Kirk Wheeler, Greg Young and Ashley Hildred have all been offered terms, and Giovanni Carchedi has been offered a month-to-month contract.

Midfielder Hildred has yet to play for the Town first team, but was a regular for the reserves last season, and is said to be a talented playmaker in midfield.

Hildred Profile

David 'Digger' Soames is a quick young striker who scored on his first-team debut at Derby two seasons ago. His involvement since then, however, has been limited after being injured for most of the last campaign.

Soames Profile

Meanwhile Town's long-serving physio Paul Mitchell, who has been at the club for a decade, has left the Mariners by mutual consent. The Mariners have had a rethink of their fitness strategy and have teamed up with Grimsby College, where they will have the use of the gym and medical facilities.

Town's major shareholder John Fenty explained to the Grimsby Telegraph that the move was not financially motivated, instead being part of a major rethink of the club's training and fitness techniques. "We aim to have the fittest side in the division next season," said Fenty.

Town's current medical facilities are inadequate to cope with a large number of concurrent injuries, such has been experienced a number of times over the last few seasons.

The club have yet to appoint a new physio for matchdays.

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