Manager Andy Coyles expects new arrival Matty Clarke to fit right in at Penrith AFC.

Clarke joined the Bonny Blues on Thursday with midfielder Ben Jackson returning on a dual-registration basis from Appleby AFC on the same day.

Boss Coyles, who is a Northumbria University lecturer, admits Clarke, described as a left-sided player, is someone he has wanted to recruit for some time.

He said: “He’s a lad we’ve been enquiring about for a while, but he’s been happy and playing at Kendal.

"But over the last few months, things haven’t gone according to plan there. So, their misfortune has helped us in a way because players have left and made themselves available.

“Matty is delighted to have come to Penrith and, last Wednesday, he was great in training.

"He’s a lovely lad, with a great attitude and really impressive energy levels. So, I think he will fit in really well at Penrith.”

Whitehaven-born Coyles has been busy on the signing front in recent weeks, having also brought former player-manager Kyle May and goalkeeper Jonny Jamieson back to Frenchfield Park.

Coyles, who is also head coach of England men’s University’s team, says he believes his captures have come as a result of off-the-field work he has done at the club since he took over the reins at the Northern League Division One basement boys in October.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been a busy of couple days, it’s been a busy couple of months, really,” he admitted.

“It’s taken me this long to get the players in that we’re wanting.

“I spoke to Billy [Williams, chairman] recently and said, for the first couple of months, if I’m being completely honest, I just tried to improve everything off the field. I think the things we’ve done off the field have made Penrith AFC a little bit more inviting to come to as a player.

“We’ve just done little things but those little things have added up into what players are impressed with.

“I was looking at my squad the other day and I think we have got between 25-30 players on the books now.

“A couple of months ago, we probably had 25 but it was a mixture of quality. There were some lads coming in from reserve sides and some lads coming in from various leagues well under Northern League standard.

“But, now, we have 25 lads that are all competing for a first-team spot. I believe every single lad can challenge for a first-team shirt now.”

With Penrith’s scheduled home game against Guisborough Town on Saturday postponed due to a frozen pitch, next up, they are due to visit Dunston UTS on Saturday.