ATHERTON Collieries have been busy bolstering their squad in preparation for the new season.

Manager Brad Cooke has brought in the exciting talents of Jordan Darr and Kyle Sambor while Marcus Cusani has returned to the Skuna Stadium.

Colls finished one off the bottom of BetVictor Northern Premier League and Cooke is hoping the three additions will help his side improve.

Cooke said striker Darr was one of his main summer targets while he is delighted to have been able to recruit lightning-quick attacker Sambor.

Darr joins from Charnock Richard of the North West Counties Premier Division, on the back of an eye-catching season for the Chorley side. Scoring 20 goals and picking up 12 man-of-the-match awards in 29 games, Darr’s efforts as a striker for the Greens played a key part as they challenged for promotion to the Northern Premier League.

Speaking on the signing, Cooke said: “Jordan was one of our main targets for this off-season. He is exactly what I want in a player and, more importantly, a person.

“He shows great intelligence for a 21-year-old, who has been around at this level since he was 16 or 17, already learning a lot in his time.

“He had a great year last season, and we beat off a number of clubs to secure his signature. We are delighted that he has chosen to join us, he is ready to step up and continue his development, and he is a huge coup for the club.”

Darr was the first off-season arrival at the Colls but quickly followed by Sambor who joins from Witton Albion. He is a player Cooke has tracked for a number of years.

“I have admired Kyle since I first saw him for Cammell Laird while I managed West Didsbury,” said the manager. “Not long after that he signed for Witton, and I have kept an eye on his progress since.

“After meeting with him a couple of times, I knew he would be the perfect match for us. He is a very grounded lad who is hungry to make an impact, I am delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Cusani is a player already familiar to the Colls faithful, having scored on his debut for the club against Bamber Bridge in March 2018, going on to play a key part in the successful Integro Cup campaign.

The winger went on to play for Warrington Town, helping them win the NPL play-off in 2019 while he spent most of last season at Ashton Athletic.

Cooke, who played alongside Cusani during the 2017-18 season, said: “I am delighted Marcus has joined us. We watched him for Ashton Athletic during our 5-2 win there last season, and highlighted him as someone we wanted to bring back to the club.

“After having a chat, it was clear that he is desperate to make his mark at this level.”