Last season’s Premier Division Player of the Year, Zack Dale, has put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Barnoldswick Town until 2020.
It’s no secret that boss Matt Barnes is a big admirer of the club’s leading scorer - who celebrated his 24th birthday on Wednesday - and the head honcho at the Silentnight Stadium was delighted to get the deal over the line.
Dale, who isn’t short of suitors in the Hallmark Security League, and above, is currently the joint leading scorer at this level, tied on 22 goals in all competitions with Charnock Richard’s Carl Grimshaw.
“It’s something that me and Stewart (Airdrie), the chairman, had been talking about for quite a while,” confirmed Barnes.
“It’s quite important to get our best player and, for me, the league’s best player tied down, to send out a message to the rest of the league.
“It was plain and simple, we wanted to get Zack tied down. It’s no secret that clubs have come in for him left, right and centre.
“We’re going so well in the league that it’s important to get your best players tied down.
“We’ve probably surprised a few people this year already, so we’re now planning towards the second half of the season and on to next season.
“Zack is a vital part of that and it’s something to help draw players in.”
Dale was on the scoresheet twice as Town progressed to the quarter-finals of the Macron Cup in midweek.
In a bizarre tie, which brought 13 goals, Jack Coop also netted a hat-trick as Barnes’s men beat Eccleshall 9-4.
After Coop opened the scoring in the fourth minute captain James Crorken had a goal wiped out for offside.
Travis Capey equalised in the 37th minute against the run of play but quickfire goals from Dale and Coop gave the home side a two-goal cushion at the break.
Josh Eastwood curled the ball in to the top corner to make it 4-1 early in the second half only for George Burslem to pull the visitors back in to it again in the 51st minute.
Dale netted Town’s fifth with a cool finish minutes later, substitute Lewis Morgan scored with his first touch, before Capey made it 6-3.
Eccleshall made it 6-4 in the 63rd minute but Town soon burst in to life and ran away with the tie.
Coop completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute before John Beckwith’s double rounded off the scoring.
Town entertain 1874 Northwich tomorrow, kick-off 3 p.m.