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Goalkeeper Michael Duggan and defender Ollie Price sign for Spalding United

Spalding United have received a double boost ahead of their opening pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Long-serving goalkeeper Michael Duggan has agreed terms for another campaign while the Tulips have also swooped to sign former Boston United defender Ollie Price.

Duggan made his 300th appearance for the club last season and was named player of the year ahead of starting his eighth full campaign with the Tulips this term after first joining in January 2012.

Keeper Michael Duggan is popular with Tulips fans. (39457288)
Keeper Michael Duggan is popular with Tulips fans. (39457288)

Price progressed through the youth system at Boston United and made a number of first team appearances in the National League North before taking a football scholarship in America from which he recently returned and Spalding boss Lewis Thorogood was delighted to secure the services of the duo.

Thorogood said: “Ollie can play centre-half or right-back. He’s very athletic, strong and physical.

“He’s just come back after a two-year scholarship at an American university and rose quite early in his career at Boston United.

“He’s a talented kid who is big and strong and has a great attitude. I’ve known Ollie for years and he’s settled in very well.

“He’s a very good addition to the squad and I am very pleased to have him on board. He will compliment the likes of Ben Greenwood and Josh Spencer.

“I’m also very happy to have Michael Duggan with us again next year because he’s a big part of the club.

“I’m pleased to have both him and Alex Smith with us and I’m very close now to having my final squad in place.”

Thorogood is also expected to run the rule over a couple of triallists in Saturday’s friendly which is being played behind closed doors due to the current situation with crowds following the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitors Peterborough Sports play a level above the Tulips in the Southern League Premier Division Central and looked on course for promotion last season until the COVID-19 outbreak saw their campaign null and voided.

They include former Tulips Mark Jones, Dan Lawlor, Josh Moreman and Mitch Griffiths in their ranks while former Spalding midfielder Lewis Webb is their first team coach.

Thorogood added: “There will be a slightly strange feeling in that this sort of match and the date of it would normally be our finishing game to test our starting eleven to see where we are at.

“But I’ve got great respect for their manager Jimmy Dean because he's done a fantastic job and their set-up means that I know that they will come and will be a professional outfit.

“You can’t make any judgment on what happens on Saturday because they will be bringing more than 20 players and we’re going to use 19 or 20.

“We may have been training since the start of the month, but it’s different when you get out on that football pitch.

“I think the first 20 minutes will be frantic because it will be like letting them all out loose again and then all of sudden the energy levels will wane.

“But I want to see what level our boys are at and then we can judge it on what work we have got to do in the rest of pre-season.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game and we’re fully prepared and versed for a battle, but you’re going to have two teams that want to play football which will be the enjoyable part about it.

“I want us to have a style where we can play football and press with a high tempo and Peterborough Sports pride themselves on playing good high-tempo football.”

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