McCone departs Brakes as Holleran brings in two new faces

Leamington summer signing Paul McCone has left the club.

Paul McCone in action at Boston. Picture: Sally Ellis

McCone, who been a reassuring presence at both centre-back and right-back for Brakes, is expected to return to former club Stourbridge.

Manager Paul Holleran said he had been aware of McCone’s desire to leave the New Windmill for a few weeks and admitted there was little he could do to change his mind.

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“He’s come across and he hasn’t settled,” said Holleran.

“His heart’s not at the football club and he’s not enjoying it here.

“He’s another one struggling with the start we’ve had and there have been little things off the pitch as well as on it.

“With the start we’ve had, it’s been a challenge for everyone and we need players that are up for the challenge.”

There was better news for Holleran with the addition of two former young professionals, Josh Hawker and Luke Connolly, in time for tomorrow’s Skrill Conference North fixture at Workington.

Connolly is a versatile defender who can play anywhere across the back four.

The 20-year-old spent nine years at West Bromwich Albion, captaining the under-18s and playing regularly for the reserves before moving to play in Sweden after his release.

Connolly returned from a serious knee injury to see out last season with Solihull Moors, who loaned him out to Redditch United for the early part of the 2013/14 campaign.

Midfielder Hawker, who is also 20, is a former first and second year professional at Birmingham City and held a first team squad number at St Andrews last season.

Released in the summer, he continued his rehabilitation with the Blues following a car crash and is now fully fit.

“I have been aware of both players for some time,” added Holleran. “I feel they will add quality, energy and enthusiasm to the squad and strengthen the competition for places.”

Holleran also revealed that midfielder Alex Taylor is awaiting a scan on the knee injury he suffered at Solihull Moors.