IAN LONG wants to convince recent loan recruit Jordan Nadat that his future lies at Alvechurch, regardless of interest from higher league Halesowen Town.
Striker Nadat has joined Church for a month from Sutton Coldfield Town and has netted twice in two starts so far, but Halesowen are also monitoring the former Chasetown and Gresley forward and they are expected to ask Sutton for permission to pursue their interest.
Alvechurch boss Long, however, believes the forward can progress his career at Lye Meadow.
“In his own words, he says he has loved every minute since he has been here. The lads have taken to him and his performances have been first class,” said Long.
“I can understand he wants to play at as high a level as he can but hopefully we can persuade him to stay long-term. We’re ambitious too and we are in a good position to challenge for the title.”
Long’ has already bolstered his goalkeeping options this week, by introducing Romanian Mihai Gherasim.
The 23-year-old has played in the Romanian second tier and his international clearance came through in time to play as a substitute in Tuesday night’s Birmingham Senior Cup first round penalty shoot-out exit to Lye Town.
“Mihai has played for his country at U21 level and he will push Paul Evans for the number one spot,” said Long. “I want competition throughout the team.”
Gherasim’s arrival means Jack Hayfield, who had been Evans’ understudy, has left the club.
After their 4-0 FA Vase success at Pilkington XXX on Saturday and a Senior Cup home KO to Lye, Long’s men return to Midland Football League Premier Division action on Saturday when they entertain Dunkirk.
Church have won eight in a row in the league to move into third place in the table – two points behind leaders Heanor with two games in hand and one behind Hereford with three in hand.
Leigh Downing is unavailable as he joins a UEFA A licence coaching course at St George’s Park, while Jack Cresswell is the only casualty. He is due to have the plaster on his broken arm removed this week.
Church will now face a trip to Wisbech Town in the first round of the Vase on October 31 after easing past Pilkington.
Two goals in the first nine minutes from Downing and Karl Edwards put them in control and a solo effort from Connor Deards made it 3-0 at half time. Edwards hit a late fourth for his 12th goal of the season.
Long made seven changes to the team on Tuesday as they drew 2-2 with visitors Lye but lost 4-3 on penalties.
Lye twice led but Joel Ambalu and Nadat, in injury time, equalised before Nadat’s penalty hit the post in the shootout and then Andy Parsons’ spot kick was saved by Jake Bedford.