ALVECHURCH boss Ian Long believes key defender Ash Carter is destined to get his chance in the Football League after dismissing Hereford’s interest in the player.
Long was furious at an apparent ‘illegal approach’ from Bulls manager Peter Beadle, who claimed he accidently rung Carter’s phone when Carter and Church chairman Richard Thorndike were watching the Second City derby together on Sunday.
Alvechurch rejected a bid for the summer signing earlier in the year but Church discovered the Bulls had since been in contact with the player four or five times, even though he is on contract at Lye Meadow.
After speaking to Beadle, Long has drawn a line under the matter but he is still angry.
“I’ve got a lot respect for Hereford and I thought I had a good and honest relationship with Pete Beadle,” said Long. “But he was bang out of order speaking to Ash on the eve of what is an important spell for us. We could do without the distractions.
“Hereford is a big club and a big attraction but I think Ash has got bigger fish to fry. There have been a lot of pro clubs sniffing around.
“I don’t want to lose my best players and Ash comes into that category. But neither would I stand in anyone’s way to get the chance to progress their careers. We all want to play at the best level we can.
“But my focus is to give ourselves the best chance to win promotion from this league.”
Carter had played his part in sealing Alvechurch’s 1-0 win at home to Corby Town in last weekend’s Evo-Stik Northern Premier South contest.
The defender struck the only goal on 67 minutes with a cracking header from Tom Turton’s corner.
It was even more of a crucial result as promotion rivals Bedworth United and Frickley Athletic dropped points and Frickley suffered a further setback in midweek when they were docked three points for fielding an ineligible player.
Alvechurch lie fifth, just two points behind second-placed Bedworth with five games in hand and one behind Frickley with three games in hand, but successive away games against contenders Stamford on Saturday and then Frickley on Tuesday are hugely significant.
Fourth-placed Stamford are level on points, having played five games more, but they demolished Church 5-1 at Lye Meadow in September and have an impressive record on home soil, losing just once.
“This is a crucial period of the season and each game gets more and more important,” said Long. “The next two games will be tough, but we know if we play to our potential we will be alright. If we are on our game, we can beat anybody.
“If we’re not, then you can get beaten.”
Meanwhile, Alvechurch are eying a move for Stourport Swifts striker Nick MacPherson.
Long confirmed they have filed a seven-day approach to speak to the forward, whose goal against South Normanton on Tuesday was his 17th in 31 appearances.
“He can play wide or up top and is someone who has come to our attention. We like the look of him,” said Long.
Alvechurch will also hope to have Babucar Sauane back in contention shortly for the first time in three months.
The all-action midfielder was hurt against Cambridge at the end of October and then headed to the Gambia over Christmas to get married. He returned last week and Church will assess his fitness before deciding whether to include him.