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By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 05/06/2008

FIRST team squad members Jamie Clarke and Gary Montgomery have both put pen to paper on new one-year deals with the Mariners. However it looks like Town have not managed to sign defender Rob Atkinson, as his club Barnsley are not willing to let the 21-year-old go.

Clarke and Montgomery were offered new deals after their contracts ran out at the end of the season. Of the two Montgomery was perhaps the most likely to leave Blundell Park as his first team chances have been extremely limited by the form and fitness of last year's Player of the Season Phil Barnes.

Utility player Clarke was signed as a right back but has made most of his appearances in midfield and is a useful addition to the squad.

However, central defender Atkinson who made 24 starts on loan for Grimsby last season, will be back at Oakwell on July 3 for pre-season training after manager Simon Davey ruled out a permanent signing by Grimsby according to the Sheffield Star newspaper. The possibility of another loan move for Atkinson has not been ruled out though, according to the same source.

The failure to secure Atkinson after Doncaster could not be persuaded to part with fellow loanee Sam Hird means Town have yet to make a major signing the summer. Grimsby are desperate to sign at least two new defenders to replace Fenton and Whittle, and they also lack a right back.

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