With Nantwich Town approaching yet another campaign in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, we begin our annual profiles of each of the new clubs to enter the Dabbers’ league. We start off with Evo-Stik Division One West play-off winners Radcliffe.

Season Summary

Position: 2nd (Promoted from Evo-Stik Division One West)
Top Scorer: Tunde Owolabi (26)

2018/19 saw Radcliffe earn promotion through the Evo-Stik Division One West play-offs following a solid regular season which saw the Boro finish second, seven points behind league champions Atherton Collieries and earn top seed in the play-offs.

After a convincing 3-0 home win against Ramsbottom United in the semi-finals, a tense tie against Leek Town awaited.

Robert Stevenson gave Leek a half-time lead however goals from Tunde Owolabi and Ben Wharton saw Radcliffe come from behind and earn promotion to the Evo-Stik League Premier Division for the first time in 16 years.

Owolabi ended the campaign as top scorer with 26 goals closely followed by Wharton on 25.

In the Dugout

Radcliffe FC are managed by former Premier League striker Jon Macken who took over at The Boro in September 2017, his first managerial role.

Macken began his playing career with Manchester United in 1995 but was released two years later after failing to make a first-team appearance. He joined Preston North End and managed to score 63 goals in 189 league matches until he left for Manchester City in 2002. Macken eventually made his first Premier League appearance for City. He only managed to score seven goals in 51 appearances during his three seasons however notably scored against United in the Manchester derby in 2004. He signed for Crystal Palace in 2005 and whilst there moved to Ipswich Town on loan.

In 2007, he moved again to Derby County but was loaned out to Barnsley after failing to make an impact at Pride Park where he failed to score in 11 league appearances. He joined Barnsley permanently in 2008 and moved again to Walsall two years later. He was released by The Saddlers at the end of the 2011–12 season and joined Northern Premier League side Northwich Victoria, before joining Stockport County briefly in 2013.

Macken retired from the game in 2015 before switching to coaching and joining Radcliffe two years later.

Home Comforts

Radcliffe have played their home games at The Neuven Stadium (formerly Stainton Park) since 1970. In the past, the Boro have invested in creating community facilities and has seen almost £500,000 invested in the club.

Radcliffe have been recognised as a club building for the future. With the help of grants from the Football Association, Football Foundation, Lottery Sports Fund, Club Funds and personal investments, the club have been able to provide two Floodlit all weather 3G pitches, the building of a changing room complex for the whole community, the building of a new sports clinic, an upgrade in the terracing with a new terrace section, new car parking spaces, the purchase of the social club & refurbishment of the building, the building of a new sponsors lounge, a new 350-seated stand and six brand new conference standard floodlights.

Previous Meeting

The Dabbers and Radcliffe last faced off in August 2018 as both sides were preparing for last season. Nantwich travelled to The Neuven Stadium and picked up a convincing 4-0 victory thanks to a Danny Glover hat-trick and a Craig Lindfield strike.