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Paul: Cleeve switch can heal Jackson's world

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: July 10, 2008

Michael Jackson

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MICHAEL JACKSON is the first new signing at Bishop's Cleeve as manager Paul Collicutt begins preparations for the 2008-09 season.

The former Cheltenham Town midfield man has joined from Cleeve's new British Gas Business Division One South and West rivals Cirencester Town.

The postman, who left the Robins in 2002, had spells at Swansea City and Weston-super-Mare before joining Cirencester.

Despite falling out of favour with Ciren boss Adi Viveash last season, Jackson still made 33 league starts in their relegation campaign.

Collicutt said: “I know a fair bit about Jacko from his time with Cheltenham, then Weston and of course Cirencester.

“He's a good footballer and a great passer of the ball, but things didn't work out for him at Ciren last year. He was a bit disillusioned with things there so I spoke to him earlier this summer about joining Cleeve.

“If we can get Jacko back to his best then I'm sure this will be a very good signing for us. He needed a fresh challenge and hopefully he can start enjoying his football again.”

However, Collicutt has warned Jackson that he will not walk straight in to the Cleeve squad as they begin a third season in Southern League football following their switch from the Midland Division.

He is one of a number of new faces at the club since they resumed training last week, and the club's first pre-season friendly against Stourbridge on July 26 will give the boss an ideal opportunity to cast his eye over the prospects.

“Jacko will have to fight for his place like everybody else, and we're looking at a squad of 21 or 22 players,” added Collicutt.

“There's been a few new faces since we returned to training and we'll keep taking a look at things before we make our decision.”

Veteran Keith Knight, who joined Cleeve last season, is set to stay put despite receiving offers from at least two other clubs during the close season.

Knight will continue to play for the first team and combine this with a coaching role at Kayte Lane.

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