It seems to be a case of if you can’t beat them, sign them for Spalding United this summer after they swooped for another Holbeach United hero.
The Tulips have announced the capture of star striker Andrew Tidswell from the UCL Premier Division champions, making it four signings from their South Holland rivals.
Also moving to the Sir Halley Stewart are Boston United centre back Nathan Stainfield and ex-Stamford hitman Sam Mullarkey.
But it’s the move for Tidswell that will have football fans in South Holland talking. The striker won the UCL’s golden boot last term – scoring home and away against Spalding as he passed 30 goals.
He joins ex-Holbeach skipper Jamie Stevens, Tigers’ supporters’ player of the year Jonny Allen and fans favourite Adam Jackson in crossing the local divide – and Spalding supremo Pat Rayment reckons he can only get better.
“You’ve got to imagine that Andrew will score even more goals for us,” said Rayment. “A lot of his goals last year came off his own bat – but he’ll get more help from the team here.
“I know he had a number of other offers, so we’re delighted to bring him here.”
The signings of Stainfield (pictured, above) and Mullarkey shouldn’t be underestimated, either.
Former Bourne Town defender Stainfield was offered terms to stay with the Pilgrims next year, but has opted instead to drop two levels with the ambitious Tulips.
Pacey frontman Mullarkey, meanwhile, hasn’t played since leaving Stamford over the winter. But he was a regular thorn in Spalding’s side during his Lincoln United days and will add another formidable attacking option.
Having also snapped up former St Neots skipper Lewis Webb last week, Rayment now reckons his summer signing spree is already over.
He added: “Getting Stainfield is a real coup, I’m surprised we’ve managed to tempt him here. He’s a real physical presence and really gives us the best defensive options possible at this level.
“Sam has great pedigree and there’s no doubting his ability. If we can provide him with a decent playing environment he’ll be a fine option.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s our business done. The aim now is to improve on last season’s success and challenge on all fronts. The usual people will say it’s all about the money here, but you don’t win the UCL on pennies.
“We’ve never denied that we’ve got a good budget here, but we’ll not be the only ones.”
Spalding have also announced their pre-season friendly dates, headlined by a home date with Boston United on Thursday, July 18.
They are: July 6 – Crowland Town (a); July 13 – Hucknall Town (a); July 18 – Boston United (h); July 20 – football fun day at Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field; July 23 – Coalville Town (a); July 27 – St Neots Town (a); July 31 – Eynesbury Rovers (a); August 3 – Kettering Town (a).