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Ambitious ninth tier club sign a second ex-Premier League player

An ambitious ninth tier club have chosen to sign a second ex-Premier League player in Carl Dickinson, and the news has gone viral.

Hanley Town, who are based in the North West Counties Premier Division, confirmed that 33 year old Dickinson, will be a player-manager as they eye to climb the leagues.

He has been a key figure at Yeovil Town in the National League, having joined the club in 2018, but leaves after 91 appearances and two goals.

He came through the ranks at Stoke City and helped the Potters win promotion to the Premier League in 2008. The left-back then became Port Vale captain during a three-year stay from 2013.


Former Stoke City and Port Vale defender Carl Dickinson had agreed in principle to become the new manger of the club.

Dickinson will take on the role of player manager at the club when his current deal with Yeovil Town ends at the end of the season.

A three year deal has been agreed with the club in what shows the ambition we have here.

Speaking on social media earlier on our new manager said he was β€œexcited for the future” as he looks ahead to his first management role.

Now that he has signed the deal he goes back to Yeovil Town where he will stay 100% focused on the rest of the season at Huish Park.


Yeovil Town defender Carl Dickinson will be moving on to pastures new at the end of the season, becoming player-manager of Hanley Town.

Having made 91 appearances in green and white, many of those as captain, ‘Dicko’ will leave Huish Park a player that fans remember fondly for his passion and commitment.

The move allows Dickinson to step into senior management for the first time in his career, in the city he calls home having played for both Stoke and Port Vale previously.

Speaking on social media following the announcement, the full back said; “Excited for the future, but job to finish first with my team and get us finishing as high as possible!”

All at Yeovil Town would like to wish Carl Dickinson all the best in his new adventure.


Yeovil Town currently sit 12th place in the National League, taking 38 points from 29 games played so far for the 2020/21 campaign.

They are four points from reaching the playoffs, but numerous clubs around them have games in hand.

Before the season was abandoned, Hanley Town sat 7th with 11 points in the North West Counties Premier Division (9th tier of English football).

A better start compared to the 2019/20 season which saw them bottom of the league, before the season was cancelled. They picked up 21 points from 30 matches played but avoided relegation due to no teams going up or down.

Back in 2020, the new Hanley chairman said he aims to make Staffordshire based club β€œthe biggest in the area”.

Speaking to Sport in Staffs, Ron outlined his ultimate objective for the club.

β€œWithin five years to become the biggest club in the area, both on and off the field,” he stated.

β€œI want to make Hanley Town accessible and welcoming for all to come and watch football.”


Youth career
2001–2002 – Derby County
2002–2004 – Stoke City

Senior career
2004–2011 – Stoke City – 51 games (0 goals)
2006 β†’ VΓ­kingur (loan) – 2 games (0 goals)
2006 β†’ Blackpool (loan) – 7 games (0 goals)
2009 β†’ Leeds United (loan) – 7 games (0 goals)
2009–2010 β†’ Barnsley (loan) – 28 games (1 goal)
2010–2011 β†’ Portsmouth (loan) – 36 games (0 goals)
2011–2013 – Watford – 43 games (2 goals)
2012 β†’ Portsmouth (loan) – 6 games (0 goals)
2013 β†’ Coventry City (loan) – 6 games (0 goals)
2013–2016 – Port Vale – 127 games (4 goals)
2016–2018 – Notts County – 59 games (1 goal)
2018– Yeovil Town – 91 games (2 goals)

Another former top flight footballer is also currently playing for Hanley Town, that man is Ricardo Fuller.

The ex-Jamaica international scored 50 goals and made more than 200 appearances for Stoke between 2006 and 2012.

He also played for the likes of Preston North End, Portsmouth and Southampton.

After leaving Stoke, he went on to have spells with Charlton Athletic, Blackpool, Millwall and Oldham Athletic before officially hanging up his boots in 2016. He came out of retirement in 2019, joined Nantwich Town.

“It doesn’t matter what level it is – my love, my passion is still there, so I decided to sign for them,” he told BBC Radio Stoke.

“And also, it’s a good opportunity for me to get some work done with the strikers, in a striker-coach role at the club as well.

“It is no different from playing in the Championship and Premier League for me in terms of my passion.

“I want to win, I want to improve the team around me, I want to improve the players.

“Obviously, I will play my part to the best of my ability and everything I’ve got, I will give it.

“Those things will never change with me.

“I never played football for power or for fame. I played for love.

“It is my passion. Everyone knows that by now – especially Stoke fans and people associated with Stoke City.

“Nothing has changed since the first day I arrived in England.”

Asked how long he will keep playing for, he replied: “As long as I feel this good.

“I wouldn’t have done it if I couldn’t move, if I couldn’t kick a ball well, if I couldn’t pass it or run, if I couldn’t dribble, if I couldn’t score or assist.”

Fans and footballers reacted as the ambitious ninth tier club sign a second ex-Premier League player in Carl Dickinson, see what they had to say below…

@JonSteadSA: One of the most knowledgeable and dedicated professionals I’ve met!! Well done @HanleyTown66 great appointment

@MichaelFitzjoh1: All the best Carl hope you have great success from all of us at kidsgrove Athletic fc

@DMayerSCFC: Are you recreating @stokecity promotion team πŸ˜… πŸ‘ Big Ric, Dicko. Who’s next @LiamLawrence07 and Glenn Whelan? πŸ˜…

@sherryp99829898: Happy for you, Carl. But absolutely gutted, as your shirt sponsor for two years.

@M4rt89: Brilliant.. he’s a great guy

@Gloversgirl: I’m happy for you Dicko but absolutely gutted you’re leaving us, but you’ll be so much closer to your family

@jasesherratt: All the best Dicko. Great guy and well loved on both sides of the potteries

@ollie_long93: @HanleyTown66 Dickinson and fuller both at Hanley .. looks like the band is getting back together @stokecity

@stephenshrive: Good luck @carldickinson_3. Great appointment will have to put the UW on the back burner for a while πŸ˜‰

@StevePotts16: Wish him all the best, going make a good manager Dicko

@ferranti_thomas: Absolutely brilliant for local football @carldickinson_3

@RussellDutton: Great appointment and best wishes going forward.

Fans continued to react as the ambitious ninth tier club sign a second ex-Premier League player…

@mgadams58: He will give everything for you – a great asset to any club.

@Walpie27: Great news for you @carldickinson_3 great memories of you bombing down the wing, getting to the byline and then spooning it out of play. Good luck fella (do us a favour next couple of games 😏)


@CleaveO: Good luck Dicko. We’ll miss your passion and commitment. Announce pre season friendly with #YTFC at Hanley.

@officialANixon: Dicko- did a good little job at the Vale. Wishing him luck at Hanley! UTV

@NeilTom75425607: Congrats treat yourself with a week off next week Notts need 6 points

@Vixy1988: Congratulations you will be missed so much at Yeovil but wish you every success in your new venture

@CraigAMcCann: Massive hole to fill at #YTFC but made up for Dicko. Buzzing to get to a few Hanley games next year too!

@Peterkay2k11: @carldickinson_3 loved it when you was at the vale was even better when we sang Dickinson Dickinson running down the wing Dickinson Dickinson running down the wing he played for the shite now he’s a white Dickinson Dickinson Dickinson

@JBux2018: Money can’t be as tight as you made out a few months ago then lads

@AdamFisher02: 3year contract in the Fizzy Pop League !! Wow some money around

@dcooke1989: With the restructure in the summer would love to see Hanley jump up a few tiers.

@casp712: GOARN Dicko

@BrianBe86898696: Good luck Dicko another reason to pay Hanley Town more visits

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