HULL City goalkeeper Charlie Andrew will return on loan to Pickering Town next season after signing his first pro deal with the Championship outfit.

Andrew, 18, made 26 appearances and claimed three man-of-the-match awards as the Pikes secured a first-ever promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern League last term.

The Mill Lane outfit finished second in the Northern Counties East League table with Andrew between the sticks and Town boss Paul Marshall is delighted to secure his services for the 2018/19 campaign too.

“Charlie Andrew will be coming back for a year, having been given professional terms at Hull and that’s a massive bonus because he’s a very good young keeper,” Marshall enthused. “Hull are also delighted that he will be getting another season in men’s football at a higher level.”

The Pikes returned to pre-season training this week and will have two sessions before travelling to Selby Town for their first friendly on Saturday afternoon or Friday night should England have progressed through to the World Cup quarter-finals last night.

Marshall is keen to give last term’s team the chance to prove their worth in the higher tier but will also use a busy warm-up programme of matches to cast his eye over possible additions to the squad, including released York City under-18s’ full-back Zac Lawrence.

“We’ll have to wait and see what comes along and who turns up,” the former Harrogate Railway chief added. “We’ve got a few trialists we will be looking at, including one who has been released by Harrogate Town, having played for their under-23s last season.

“They are the type of players we will be able to attract – young players who have been released by York and Harrogate that you are seeing if they can make the step up, rather than the seasoned campaigners. I also know Zac Lawrence very well, who has just finished at York.

“I had him in junior football at Copmanthorpe and he’s a decent left back. He’s training with Wigginton Grasshoppers at the moment, but I’m good friends with the people there and we’ll have a look at him in pre-season to see if he’s ready to play men’s football.

“Some are and some aren’t in his situation, with Ryan Qualter and Jamie Hopcutt good examples of players that have left York and gone on to do well in semi-professional football. Others decide they would rather play locally with their mates.”

Another ex-Minsterman that Marshall believes will play a big role in his team’s plans next term is midfielder Nick Thompson, who only featured in a dozen matches during the promotion campaign due to injury.

On his return, Marshall said: “Nick Thompson is back for pre-season training, having had a hernia operation last season and he will be like a new player if we can get him fully fit. I’ve worked with him since he was 18 and we were at Tadcaster together and he’s always done well for me.

“It was a massive blow when we lost him last season but, fortunately, we still got up without him, but he will be a key part in what we are doing this season, as he is well capable of playing at Evo-Stik League level.”

The only real injury concern currently is former Scarborough Athletic striker who grabbed 19 goals in 18 matches during the promotion run-in.

“Billy Logan has a bit of a knee problem, which has been caused by him being flat-footed, so we will have to monitor that on the hard pitches,” Marshall explained.

Following the Selby match, Marshall’s team travel to Church Fenton (Thursday, July 12), Knaresborough Town (Tuesday, July 17), Scarborough & District Representative League XI (Thursday, July 19), Stockton Town (Saturday, July 21), Garforth Town (Tuesday, July 24) and Bridlington (Saturday, July 28).

They also host Scarborough Athletic on Thursday, August 9 and on his side’s start to pre-season and schedule ahead, Marshall reasoned: “I think Selby have been back in training for about a month, so it will be a good test for us if they are fitter at this stage - it should balance things out.

“Christian (Fox) has done a good job there having been given his chance after starting out in the York & District League and I’m looking forward to the match. It’s a local derby and there should be a good few people there.

“All the games we’ve got lined up are good matches and all the players will be involved, even those who didn’t get as many opportunities last season because we’ve got to make sure we don’t miss anybody.”

Pickering’s season kicks off on Saturday, August 18, with fixtures due to be released on Thursday, July 12.