STUDLEY hope the prospect of playing a part in a title challenge will convince top scorer Dale Edwards to reject an approach from Alvechurch.
Bees boss John Edwards confirmed Southern Premier Central strugglers Church have filed a seven-day approach for the front-runner who has netted 16 goals in 20 matches.
Edwards’ form has helped Studley to a phenomenal unbeaten run of 16 Midland League Division One matches which has left them third in the table and earned them the accolade of team of the month for December.
Edwards says he is hopeful Edwards will remain at the Beehive to help their promotion push and chase for silverware.
“I’m hopeful Dale will stay,” said Edwards. “He’s enjoying his football and being part of a team that’s doing well. I don’t see why he’d want to swap a potential title challenge with us for a relegation battle with Alvechurch.”
The Bees have strengthened their own squad by drafting in left-sided player Chris Cowley from Romulus and he marked his arrival with the third goal to clinch a 3-0 home win against Paget Rangers on Tuesday.
Edwards revealed Cowley, who had a previous spell with Studley two seasons ago, had been on his wanted list for some time.
“I’ve been chasing him for two years on and off but we’ve managed to get it over the line,” said Edwards. “Chris is a really good player to have on board. He can play anywhere down the left-hand side, in midfield or up front.”
Edwards says Cowley’s arrival will add to an array of attacking options which have rattled up 14 goals in the last three games.
Harvey Smith (3), Mark Magee (2), Dan Carter (2), Dean Fisher and Lewis Marston all netted in a 9-1 win at Coventry Copsewood in the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup before Smith and Max Loveridge scored in a 2-1 victory at Hinckley AFC on Saturday.
Carter and Magee then added to their tally in the midweek victory against Paget before Cowley bagged the third.
“Winning an award as team of the month is credit to the players,” said Edwards. “We’ve got a good squad but we’ve got to keep the run going. We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground.”
Studley have no game this weekend but they have arranged a home friendly against Romulus on Saturday.
Edwards says it will be an opportunity to involve players who need match action including fit-again Odane Barnes and recent signings Jack Allerton and Cowley.
Meanwhile, Studley have been handed an away tie against Dudley Town in the Midweek Cup quarter-finals.