Eccleshill United boss Ian Banks may have lost his assistant manager but he has gained a pre-season friendly.

The former Bantams player and number two, when Nicky Law was in charge at Valley Parade, had Grant Crookes in the Eagles dugout with him last season. But Crookes has now left to take over the reins at Chester-le-Street Town.

Eccleshill chairman Adrian Benson said: “Grant is from that neck of the woods and he played for Darlington, which is also in the area.

“Once he got the job at Chester-le-Street, it was always on the cards that he would call Ian and they would arrange a friendly.

“Grant left us on very good terms and he will always be held in high-esteem at Eccleshill.

“Ian has promoted from within because he has got Ian Mason, who was part of the backroom staff last season, to become the official right-hand man and he is another guy who is very good on the football side of things.”

Although that move has worked in favour of Banks, another has not. His son Oliver, who ended the season in the Eagles’ midfield, will not be returning for the forthcoming campaign.

Benson explained: “Oliver has signed a pro contract with Rotherham. He only came to us on loan last season when he became available late in the season because his dad was here.

“Other clubs were in for him and it was suggested that he had been released by the Football League club but that was not the case.

“In fact, Oliver played the last game of the season for Eccleshill United and was then recalled to Rotherham. He came off the bench to score in their last game, so he has a goal in the Football League since playing for us.”