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'Firmer footing' for Bilston Town as new boss pieces squad together

Bilston Town FC has been put on a "firmer footing for the future" after council chiefs signed off on a 35-year lease, a Wolverhampton MP has said.

Bilston Town in action against Wem Town at Queen Street in 2019
Bilston Town in action against Wem Town at Queen Street in 2019

Pat McFadden has hailed a community asset transfer which enables the 128-year-old club to apply for further funding and grow in the community.

The Wolverhampton South East MP, who attends Bilston matches and is the club's honorary president, said: "It is great news to see Bilston Town FC being put on a firmer footing for the future.

"Clarity over the lease will enable the club to move forward and to bid for various funding options. Bilston Town FC is a fantastic grass roots football club and a big part of life in the town."

Mr McFadden also praised club chair Denise Frankham and those at the club who battled to get the deal over the line.

Wolverhampton Council said the new lease included land next to club's Queen Street stadium, which is set to be turned into a car park.

Meanwhile, the club will apply to Sport England, the National Lottery, The Football Foundation and The Premier League Development Fund for cash to build a new 3G pitch and to improve facilities.

It comes during a busy close season for the club, which has seen recently-appointed boss Mike Dunn piece together a new look squad ahead of the upcoming season in Division One of the Midland Football League.

Among the new players brought in by the former Rushall Olympic u21s manager is prolific goalscorer Dan Westwood, who last played for the Steelmen a decade ago.

Prolific goalscorer Dan Westwood (left) has joined Mike Dunn's new look Bilston Town squad [pic credit: Bilston Town FC]

Dunn said Bilston had beat off competition from other sides to sign the 30-year-old, who endured an injury-plagued spell at Worcester City last season having previously played at AFC Telford and Wolverhampton Sporting.

The boss told the club's social media channels: "He will be in a league where he knows he can score lots of goals and at a club where I feel he will be loved.

"He'll be just perfect for any younger players to learn from and a great teammate for everyone in the squad."

The club have also re-signed last season's captain Aaron Weston, while Jake Short, Taryll Davis and Trayvon Powell have all inked deals to return.

James Archer, who captained Dunn's Rushall u21s side, has also been brought in.

Bilston's pre-season schedule sees them take on Tividale on July 6 at Bilston College.

They travel to Sikh Hunters on July 9, then face Bilston reserves at Bilston College on July 16 and Rushall Olympic at Queen Street on July 21.

Sporting Khalsa visit Queen Street on July 26 before Lye Town are the visitors to the same venue on July 30.

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