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Jon Challinor rejoins Stamford AFC after winning the World Cup with the England Seniors team





Stamford AFC will have a World Cup winner in their playing ranks next season after club legend Jon Challinor agreed terms for another campaign.

Challinor was part of the England Seniors squad which won the World Cup for a seventh time in Thailand at the weekend.

The Three Lions went undefeated through the group campaign before beating Iran 1-0 in the semi-final.

Jon Challinor after winning the World Cup with the England Seniors team.
Jon Challinor after winning the World Cup with the England Seniors team.

However, Challinor was sent off in their last four victory which saw him suspended for the final against New Zealand where England recorded another 1-0 victory.

The international call-up capped a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 43-year-old who got married days before heading off with the England squad.

His England chance had come through Stamford manager Graham Drury who contacted ex-Daniels player Mark Smitheringale - who is part of the Seniors' management set-up - about his player's availability.

Challinor had made his 400th appearance for the Daniels last season and Drury was thrilled to secure his services and that of experienced marksman Michael Frew ahead of the new Southern League campaign.

Drury said: "It was an amazing way to cap Chally's career but he keeps saying that he's far from finished yet.

"He is the type of figure that I always want around and he's understood over the last couple of years why he's had that longevity.

Michael Frew and Jon Challinor. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Michael Frew and Jon Challinor. Photo: Rob O'Brien

"He and Michael Frew are two professionals who are role models within the club. It's not only their talents on the pitch but their attitudes off it.

"Both Frew and Challinor are great leaders to have around the club and I'm excited to have them back in for pre-season ready to continue the impact they have on the pitch.

"I forget their ages as these two lads are as fit as the young ones and have so much desire for success.

"I am very pleased to have their support behind the scenes as they are always willing to help with the important bits."

Drury also bolstered his squad this week by signing Ollie Clark from Northern Premier League side Matlock Town.

Clark, who can play in both defence and midfield, has also featured for Basford and Carlton Town in past campaigns.

Michael Duggan. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Michael Duggan. Photo: Rob O'Brien

He is the third new addition of the summer following the return of defender Jordon Cooke and the acquisition of goalkeeper Tom Jackson.

The arrival of Jackson from North Ferriby has seen both of last season's custodians - Dan Wallis and Michael Duggan - depart the club.

Wallis was part of the Stamford squad which secured promotion back to step three of the non-league pyramid after winning the Northern Premier League Midlands Division title.

He said: "It was a really tough decision but the right one all round.

"I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with Stamford for my time at the club.

"It’s been nothing but brilliant memories. I wish the club all the best for the future and I am looking forward to my next chapter."

Dan Wallis. Photo: Rob O'Brien
Dan Wallis. Photo: Rob O'Brien

Duggan joined the Daniels midway through last season after a sterling stint with county neighbours Spalding United.

He commented: "It was a difficult decision for me because Stamford is such a good club with great people involved.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time last season with a great bunch of lads and I will always be thankful to Graham Drury for the opportunity to prove myself at step three. I wish them all the success in the future."

The departure of the goalkeeping duo follows that of Ashton Offler (to Rushall Olympic), Ollie Brown-Hill (Barwell), Florian Tsagium, Brad Munns, Tiago Nassunculo and Rhys Hilton (AFC Telford).

A large number of players from last season's squad have agreed terms to return to the Zeeco Stadium for next season.

Skipper Rob Morgan, James Blunden, Will Glennon, Harry Vince, Jack Duffy, Lee Shaw, Tendai Chitiza, Joe Burgess, Connor Bartle, Billy Bennett, Mike Armstrong and Tom Siddons will all be back next season.

The Daniels will start their pre-season preparations with a friendly at United Counties League Premier Division North newcomers Harrowby United on Tuesday, July 9.

That's followed by a first-ever meeting with League Two side Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday, July 16, before the Daniels host League One neighbours Peterborough United on Friday, July 26.

A home match with National League North side Peterborough Sports has also been organised for Saturday, August 3.

Stamford have a couple of away friendlies at Anstey Nomads on Saturday, July 13, and Melton Town on Tuesday, July 23.



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