New signing Neal Bishop spurns League Two offers to join Scarborough Athletic

Neal Bishop admits he turned down offers from clubs as high as League Two before signing for Scarborough Athletic last week.

Neal Bishop fires goalward in Saturday's 1-0 win over Eccleshill United. Picture by Morgan Exley.
Neal Bishop fires goalward in Saturday's 1-0 win over Eccleshill United. Picture by Morgan Exley.

Ex Scarborough FC captain Bishop made his debut in their 1-0 pre-season win over Eccleshill United on Saturday after being persuaded to join by boss Darren Kelly.

“I had offers from two League Two clubs and a few in the National League and National League North, but having spoken to the gaffer here, it just felt right to re-join Scarborough,” Bishop told The Scarborough News.

“I knew I was going to retire from professional football at the start of last season, so I got all my coaching badges sorted as Mansfield offered me a coaching role after I’d retired so I was always going into that role after finishing up.

Neal Bishop wrestles with an Eccleshill opponent

“It’s great to be back at Scarborough though and now it’s done and dusted, I can focus on getting my fitness levels up and contributing as much as possible on and off the pitch this season.”

Bishop, who starred for Scarborough FC between 2005 and 2006 before leaving to join York City, was impressed with his new surroundings at the Flamingo Land Stadium but admits it will take him some time to get used to the artificial playing surface.

“It was my first time down at the new stadium, which is very nice,” added Bishop.

“I’m told the pitch usually plays better when it’s been watered, which is nice to hear as it was a little bit tricky to judge on Saturday.”

Bishop was also impressed with the squad and atmosphere among the dressing room, despite there being a host of key players missing for the 1-0 victory.

“It’s so important to have a strong dressing room with the lads all getting along and pulling in the same direction, and the squad seems good from what I have seen so far,” added Bishop.

“I played with Michael Coulson and Jimmy Beadle in my first spell with Scarborough, but they were young lads back then, so it was nice to catch up with them again on Saturday.

“The dressing room seems strong and the manager is also very clear he wants to bring in more players to strengthen things up.”

Bishop is determined to help Boro to challenge for promotion from the PitchingIn NPL this season, despite other clubs splashing the cash over the summer.

“I’m not here to make up the numbers and sit still and I made that perfectly clear,” added the former Notts County midfielder.

“Yes, there are a few sides in the league spending a few quid, I know because I spoke to them, but there’s no reason why we can’t be up there challenging with them for promotion.

“It would be nice if I can help the club continue to progress in the season or two I have left playing here and take them up another level, but it will be very hard to do that.

“I need to get my fitness levels up, but I know that my experience of playing in every league apart from the Premier League should help us out on and off the field this season and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.”