ALVECHURCH clinched a memorable treble and then began the preparations for the next campaign by signing Javia Roberts.
Two goals from top scorer Josh March, taking his season’s tally to 36, plus a penalty from Jamie Ashmore and a strike from man of the match Ryan Edmunds sealed a 4-1 in against Wednesfield in Tuesday’s JW Hunt Cup final at Molineux.
It was a third piece of silverware in an unforgettable season for Ian Long’s Midland League Premier-winning squad, but the planning has already started for 2017/18.
Former Redditch United player Roberts had impressed against the Churchmen in the Polymac Packaging League Cup final win in action for Hinckley AFC.
The high-speed wide player, who has also played for Rushall Olympic, has now agreed to join Alvechurch for their debut season in Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division One South, becoming their second new face after the capture of Kidderminster Harriers’ Ashley Carter.
“We felt we needed some more pace and Javia certainly ticks that box,” said Long.
“He is a flyer, he’s got so much pace and that’s gives us so many options. It’s a big, big positive to have a player of his quality agreeing to join.”
Long does not expect any major upheaval in the squad. Talks with current players over next term are continuing but full back Ashmore, one of the key players in helping transform Alvechurch’s season after his autumn arrival, has become the latest to commit.
The indications are that midfielder Jack Cresswell and front-runner Connor Deards will also agree to remain at Lye Meadow.
“We are not planning wholesale changes. We want to keep the momentum going and so many of these lads have been with me for a few seasons now,” said Long.
“Myself and Richard (Colwell, assistant manager) don’t believe in casting the net and bringing in loads of trialists. We will identify certain areas of the side that we need to improve and find those players.”
Long was delighted to end the campaign on another winning note with the JW Hunt Cup success. Wednesfield, of West Midlands League Division One, had begun brightly and James Quarry gave them the lead.
However, Alvechurch got stronger and March levelled just before half time before they dominated the second half.
“It’s a great achievement to win the treble,” said Long. “It shows the strength in depth and the quality in the squad.
“We ask a lot of the players, probably more than players at some Step Three clubs, but this is the reward. We work harder than anybody else – myself and the management team, the players as a group and individuals, and the chairman and staff. I don’t think anybody would begrudge us winning the treble.”
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Paul Evans was named supporters’ player of the season and players’ player at the Alvechurch end-of-season presentation.
Although Evans was away for the two cup finals, he was a vital figure in the storming run which took Alvechurch to the title.
Striker March was the manager’s player of the season and midfielder Ryan Winwood was the choice of chairman Richard Thorndike.
Young player of the year was Brogan Halpin and clubman was Neil Tomlin, while Reece Shilvock netted the goal of the season honour for his strike against Highgate United on Boxing Day.
Other awards: U18s, Golden Boot – Danny Moy (22); Parents’ Player – Aiden Doherty; 1st Year Manager’s Player – Sid Hicks; 2nd Year Manager’s Player – Callum Baker; Players’ Player – Callum Baker
U21s, Golden Boot – Odane Campbell (12); Manager’s Player – Aiden Burgess/Jake Cadney; Player of the Season – James Douglas; Players’ Player – Tom Whitehouse.