Hot-shot Mullarkey returns to Stamford

Sam Mullarkey in action for Stamford last season ''Photo: Geoff Atton
Sam Mullarkey in action for Stamford last season ''Photo: Geoff Atton

STRIKER Sam Mullarkey has rejoined the Daniels less than a year after leaving for Corby Town.

The former Nottingham Forest Academy player has been tempted to follow Graham Drury to the Premier Kitchens Arena and is one of several names to be announced by the club this week.

Drury has also raided his previous club to bring their U19 skipper Joe Hopewell to Stamford.

The highly-rated left back was part of the Steelmen’s youth side that progressed as far as the third round of the FA Youth Cup where they were eliminated by a Manchester City side that had to come from behind.

Further young players to sign up to Drury’s Daniels are Jake Gibson, Jake Walton, who left the club during the course of last season, and Seth Burkett, who returns after a spell playing in Brazil and Loughborough University.

But it is Mullarkey that could be the key signing as he rejoins Gary King up front. The pair were part of Simon Clark’s side that had a sensational start last season before the Stamford boss quit at the top of the table.

Mullarkey scored nine times in 22 appearances and Drury said: “I am delighted that Sam has agreed to join Stamford again.

“Sam has a good track record of scoring goals at this level, as supporters will know only too well from his time here and at Grantham. He is direct and exciting and defenders don’t like it when he runs at them, he is a constant threat.

“More significantly though, he has a good understanding with Gary King and it is a front pairing I am looking forward to working with. I never got the chance to start them both together at Corby but it is a partnership that scores goals, and that wins matches.

“If I can bring in the other attacking players I am hoping too, then we’ll have plenty of competition to keep everyone on their toes.”

He added: “I believe that Sam is too good for this standard of football, which was why I signed him for Corby. Unfortunately injury halted his progress in the second half of the season but I know he is hungry to get back to that level, just like other players who have agreed to play for us.

“That hunger will be a big factor in our progress in the future. There are boys who will be pulling on a Stamford shirt next season who be keen to prove they are capable of playing at a higher level.

On the arrival of Hopewell he said: “He has the ability to push further on at a higher level and I am delighted he has agreed to follow me to Stamford. At only 19 he has a great future ahead of him.

“Along with the two Jakes and Seth, Joe has also shown great desire and has a fantastic attitude to the game.

“I won’t be looking at any of them as youngsters, they all have the ability to play at this level and I see them as adults capable of holding down a first-team shirt.”

Gibson is another player who starred during the Daniels great early run last season before ending the year at Lincoln United.

“Jake is full of high energy levels,” said the Stamford boss.

“He will certainly work his socks off and is a great box-to-box man. I think the fans will be excited by what he can bring to the club.”

Drury added: “Jake Walton spent a lot of time training with me at Corby while playing for the successful Huntingdon College Football Development Centre last season.

“He is a player that I like and I am looking forward to seeing more of him next season.

“He is comfortable on the wing, as well as full back, and he’ll give us some versatility down the right hand side.”

Burkett returns to Stamford after a spell playing for Sorriso EC in the fifth division of Brazilian football. Seth has represented England at Futsal and is another promising youngster who will be keen to make his mark in the 2012/13 season.

Drury added: “I’m trying to build a great group of players that are going to gel so there will be a few more signings in the next few weeks.

“We have some fantastic young players coming through and these boys have caught my eye here in the past. All of the lads will be involved in and around the squad and will certainly play a part in our season.”