Durham City start planning for the future

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DURHAM City, who are hoping to finish around mid-table during their first season back in the Ebac Northern League, have given contracts to three highly-rated players as they plan for the future, writes Malcom Pratt.

Dan Madden, Ollie Hotchkiss and Jack Walker have penned new deals which will see them commit their futures to New Ferens Park until 2015.

Madden, a former Sunderland Reserves skipper, has had an excellent season in his favoured centre half position, having formed a hugely-effective partnership with ex Sunderland RCA defender James Oates.

Hotchkiss, who previously played for Leeds United, Garforth Town and Ossett Town, has added class to the midfield.

Walker was with Whitley Bay A and has been the find of the season for the Citizens. Thrust into the unfamiliar role of left back, he has made the position his own since joining the club from Newcastle Benfield last summer.

Manager Adam Furness, who took over from former Sunderland player Dickie Ord in October, is delighted to tie down the trio, saying: “I’m thrilled the lads have committed their futures to the club.

“The contracts not only reward the players but give us stability to build a team. They are all in their early 20s, are hungry to improve and have a winning mentality which will hopefully help us to achieve even more next season.

“We’ll be looking to add a few extra players in the close season and if we can achieve our goal I’m confident the club will continue to move forward.”