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Club News

Keith Hill Pleased With Player Re-Engagement

14 June 2016

Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on Dale’s summer activity so far, in his latest Dale PlayerHD interview.


Calvin Andrew became the first player to extend his stay at the club, signing a new one-year-deal less than 24 hours after the 2015-16 campaign ended, and was closely followed by Josh Lillis, who put pen to paper on a two-year-contract. 

Niall Canavan, who was on loan at Spotland during the second half of last season from Scunthorpe United, has joined Dale on a permanent basis after signing on for two years, while Jim McNulty has added another 12 months to his current deal, keeping him contracted to the club until 2018.

“I’m really pleased with the re-engagement from Calvin, Josh and Niall,” said Hill.

“They have a feel for this football club and the environment that we’ve created, which is special.”

He continued: “Niall enjoyed it [his loan spell at Spotland], there’s no question about that. 

“I think he was impressed with the way that we do things. We’ve got ambitions to be better than we were last season – we always have ambition to improve, and I think Niall coming in is a step forward in the right direction.

“Niall’s time at the club was successful and it’s not the first time I had tried to sign him. Sometimes when you speak to players, there’s a perfect fit.

“It’s not always football club fit, it’s management fit. Does the manager fit your style of play, does he fit you as a character and person, and does he share the vision and philosophy for footballing success.

“I feel as though I’ve got a decent relationship with Niall. I know that he could have gone to other football clubs but I feel as though he has made the right footballing decision, and I know that we’ll have success together knowing that he has made that decision. That’s the same with Calvin and Josh.”

And Manager Keith Hill is pleased that Jim McNulty has extended his stay at Spotland by a further 12 months.

“He played 46 league games last season, which is absolutely superb, and he can play-left back, left side of central defence or in a three. 

“What I’ve got with Jim McNulty is good relationship – he’s a perfect fit for me. He understands me, he understands what I want and he knows how I play the game. I think he had a superb season, so we’re looking to build on that with Jim. 

“And it’s good business for the long term future of the football club, 100-percent. It makes good business sense because to have the possibility of getting that type of player would cost me.” 

The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD


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