September 27th, 2016

Current squad will do for me says Alvechurch boss

Updated: 2:28 pm, Feb 18, 2016

IAN LONG revealed he is turning down would-be recruits because his believes his current Alvechurch squad has the united mentality to continue a three-pronged push for glory.

The boss says players from other clubs have been calling him to ask about joining the Midland League Premier Division title-chasers.

While he admits he is having to regularly disappoint some of his own squad by not playing them, he says the Lye Meadow squad has the quality – and the spirit – to cope with the demands of playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for the rest of the season.

Rotation of personnel is essential, he stressed.

“I’ve been getting calls from players asking about coming to Alvechurch,” said Long. “It’s nice to be popular! However, at the moment I’m happy with the players I’ve got.

“We’ve got a big squad, a good squad and I’m having to disappoint three or four every game by not including them, but the players now how we work.

“I’ve been up front from the first time I started working with these players and that’s quite a few years for some of them. I will make changes game to game because each match is different and you want your players at their sharpest.

“On the horizon, there’s going to be a lot of football, with some big games. I need players to be eight or nine out of ten each week. Whenever they come in, they need to do a job for the team. That’s what we’re all about.”

Having added Nathaniel Waite from Halesowen Town, Alvechurch are operating with a 21-man squad, although they have been without Connor Deards through injury for the past few weeks.

Church are also without the unavailable Luke Paskin tomorrow (Saturday) as they entertain Loughborough University, with the opportunity to close the gap on leaders Hereford, who are involved in the FA Vase quarter-finals.

Richard Huckfield is set to replace Paskin in the centre of defence, but Huckfield will face a one-match ban in a couple of weeks after being red-carded on duty with Wolves Sporting on Wednesday in a run-out designed to give him some match practice.

Loughborough were the last team to hand out a league defeat to Alvechurch, winning 2-1 on October 17. Since then, Long’s men are unbeaten in the Midland Premier, a run extended to 12 matches after Saturday’s comfortable 3-0 win at Rocester and Tuesday night’s 2-1 success at Lye Town.

Long admitted Alvechurch were not at their best in both games but, with Hereford being held by AFC Wulfrunians on Saturday, it means they are nine points behind the Bulls with four games in hand.

“There was a bit of anxiety at times but it’s all about getting the points and we did that,” said the manager.

“I would still say Hereford have the advantage because they have got the points. We’ve got to put a winning run together but we’re capable of doing that.

“I still think there will be twists and turns before the title is decided.”

On Tuesday Alvechurch travel to play Stourport Swifts and on Thursday they meet Highgate United at Lye Meadow in the Worcestershire Senior Urn semi-final, with the winners playing Bromsgrove Sporting.

Jordan Nadat netted both the opening goals in the wins at Rocester and Lye. The striker tore through the Romans’ defence from a smart through ball to fire past keeper Richard Froggatt to give the Churchmen the lead just before half time on Saturday.

Five minutes into the second period Nick Wright made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Josh March had been fouled and then Nadat turned creator for the third goal with a run and cross for substitute Jack Cresswell to score.

Nadat struck first at Lye on Tuesday, putting the Churchmen ahead on 34 minutes. Ryan Rowe levelled for the hosts before March bagged the winner on 53 minutes.

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