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Airbus UK Broughton: Craig Harrison snaps up highly rated duo

CRAIG Harrison has boosted Airbus UK Broughton’s bid for a top-six Welsh Premier League finish by loading up on firepower with two new signings.

The Wingmakers boss has swooped for Colwyn Bay goal-machine Ian Sheridan and midfielder Eddie Hope from Ellesmere Rangers as he bids for a precious place in the top half of the table.

If Airbus occupy a place in the top half of the Welsh Premier by February 5, they will be immune from relegation for the remainder of the season as the league will be split in two.

Airbus will be in the running for the European places up for grabs while the bottom six will be playing to avoid relegation.

Winger-turned-striker Sheridan is a familiar face to North Wales football fans. It was his 22 goals that fired Bay – then managed by current Chester FC boss Neil Young – into the Evo-Stik League Premier Division last season and Harrison is hoping he can repeat those heroics.

The 21-year-old has been signed for a four-figure fee and has penned a two-year contract.

The pacy and powerful Hope is less well-known, but the 24-year-old immediately endeared himself to his new supporters with a man-of-the-match performance in Airbus’ 2-1 victory at basement boys Bala Town on Sunday.

Harrison, who has lost squad player Tom Rowlands to league rivals Newtown, said: “I am delighted to have them both on board. Both players add something to the squad that we didn’t have before they arrived.

“Hopefully they will help us drive on and improve before and after the league splits in February.”

After nearly three weeks without football, the in-form Wingmakers shook off the ring rust to beat Bala on Sunday in their first match of 2011.

A defensive mix-up allowed Carl Owen to break the deadlock in the 16th minute before former Chester City FC youngster Giovanni Feliciello fired in a stunning free kick midway through the second half to seal a victory which moved Harrison’s men up to fifth.

There has been much soul-searching at the Airfield after Airbus threw away their great srtart to the season in September by embarking on a 14-game run without a win, but they picked up enough points by drawing games to remain in the running for a top-half finish.

Airbus welcome fourth-placed Prestatyn Town to the Airfield tomorrow – the Seasiders fresh from ending runaway leaders Bangor City’s 17-game unbeaten start to the season – before making the trip to Aberystwyth Town on Tuesday (both 7.30pm).