Football: Leek boss delighted to extend Shelley stay
LEEK Town boss Lee Casswell says tying midfielder Dan Shelley to a new contract shows the club's ambitions.
Former Crewe midfielder Shelley has been in superb form since joining Leek last September.
Shelley, from Endon, made 79 appearances for Crewe's first team over four years before he was released at the end of last season.
He has scored five goals in 23 appearances for Leek and has now signed a contract until the end of next season.
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Casswell said: "It is brilliant news. Dan's been great for us ever since we heard he hadn't got sorted at Crewe.
"We badgered him to come here and said he could enjoy his football and get himself going again. He has been fantastic for us and I think we have been very good for him too.
"The new contract shows we have real ambition, from the chairman throughout the club."
The Leek boss also believes Shelley could eventually play at a higher level once more.
He added: "He needs a break, but if he carries on playing as well as he has been with us then he could well get that opportunity."
In the meantime, Casswell's side can give their own chances of playing at a higher level next season another boost when they entertain promotion rivals Halesowen tomorrow.
Leek moved up to 10th with a 2-0 win at Sheffield last Saturday and still have games in hand on all but one of the teams above them.
However, they must take on sixth-placed Halesowen without 18-goal top scorer Tim Grice, who begins a three-match suspension.
Casswell has, though, has put in seven days' notice for Kidsgrove Athletic hot-shot Andy Kinsey.
Ben Chapman will continue in goal after seizing his chance in the absence of Daniel Lloyd-Weston.
Former Port Vale keeper Lloyd-Weston has trained with Hartlepool and Brentford in recent weeks, with the club's blessing.
But his unavailability for Leek opened the door for Chapman, who has been in outstanding form.
Lloyd-Weston is available tomorrow, but Casswell says it is only fair to stick with Chapman.
He said: "Daniel wants to play at a higher level and use us as a springboard, which we are fine with.
"But Ben has done fantastically since coming into the team."