BOSS Lee Casswell has delved into the transfer market after swooping to sign former Macclesfield Town man Michael Thomas from Colwyn Bay.
The versatile defender and midfielder returns to Harrison Park after enjoying an extended loan spell last season when he made 20 appearances for The Blues.
He initially joined Leek in August 2011 on a three month loan deal from the Silkmen but returned to the Moss Rose where he made 10 first team appearances before being released at the end of the season. "We're delighted Michael has agreed to join us," said Casswell, whose side lost 2-0 to Altrincham on Saturday in the third qualifying round of The FA Cup.
"I've been monitoring him for some time so it's a real boost for him to sign.
"There aren't many better players than him in the league.
"He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the camp and we're looking forward to seeing how he will play for us."
Thomas joined Blue Square North side Colwyn Bay during the summer but struggled to break into the team and made only one start for the Seagulls before returning to Harrison Park. Bay manager Jon Newby waived the required seven-days notice of approach but Thomas’s first game for the club will be delayed pending international clearance from the FA of Wales.
Casswell was upbeat despite two second half goals preventing Town from progressing to the next round of qualifying in The FA Cup.
He said: "Make no mistake, we were up against a top side and competed well against them for the majority of the game.
"We are disappointed, obviously, but the fixtures come thick and fast now and it is up to us to get back to winning ways."
Starting with Saturday's trip to Coalville Town, Leek have hit an astonishing run of fixtures which sees nine of their next 11 games played away from home turf.
Casswell added: "It's a strange fixture list for us, but we'll cope with it."
Casswell will have to make do without new signing Dan Shelley, who has been added to the injury list after he pulled a thigh muscle against Altrincham.
The former Crewe midfielder now joins the injury list alongside Anthony Danylyk who is seeking treatment for a damaged ankle that is taking some time to heal.
Dan Cope (knee) is on the way to a full recovery and would have played for the reserves on Saturday but was prevented from doing so due to a registration technicality.
Casswell said: "Losing Dan is a real blow for us. He's done well since signing and given us more quality.
"We hope he won't be out for too long."
Meanwhile, talented midfielder Christian Millar appears to have played his last game for the club after failing to win a shirt in the last two matches.
Millar signed for Leek in September 2010 and went on to make 82 appearances scoring 6 goals – and he is now attracting the attention of league rivals Newcastle Town.