LEE SINNOTT has taken a decisive step towards solving his most pressing problem by recreating a defensive partnership that helped make Hyde FC Blue Square Bet North champions last season.

Having already snapped up Danny Hall, the Altrincham boss appears to have found the ideal partner for him by launching another raid on Hyde’s title-winning squad to sign fellow centre-back Gianluca Havern, aged 23.

More additions are expected before next month’s big kick-off, but there was no mistaking Sinnott’s delight at his latest transfer breakthrough, as he said: “Luca ticks all the boxes and is a very important signing for us, from a positional point of view.

“Like Danny, he knows what it takes to get out of this league, and while he is still learning his trade, he made over 30 appearances for Hyde last season, which says something about him.

“He knows Danny very well, and while they didn’t always play alongside each other last season, you can tell they complement each other. He signed for us at 6pm and was training with us an hour later, which was great.

“It was clear straightaway they seemed to know automatically what the other was doing. The understanding was there for everyone to see, and that is always important in any partnership.

“Before Luca’s arrival, we were looking at bringing in three or four new faces, so we haven’t finished yet. Work is still being done on that, and it’s my hope that two or three will be at the back.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s first pre-season friendly, at Abbey Hey (3pm), Sinnott added: “This is an ideal opportunity to have a look at a few trialists and a few youth team players. Don’t forget, that’s how Adam Reid and Duncan Watmore came to our attention last season. It’s an example of what George Heslop has achieved with the youth set-up, and if they are good enough, they will get a chance.

“It will be a valuable exercise for getting players back into match mode, but, in an ideal world, I wouldn’t want to give anyone longer than 45 minutes. At this early stage, there is always a risk of players overstretching and picking up injuries, and I want to avoid that.”