IAN LONG is looking forward to utilising Alvechurch’s eight-match friendly programme to integrate their five summer signings – and work on tactical Plans B, C and D for their debut season at Step Three.
Church had their first friendly at Malvern Town last night (Thursday) and then visit Wolves Casuals on Saturday before they entertain Kidderminster Harriers at Lye Meadow on Tuesday in the Worcestershire Senior Cup semi-final.
Manager Long will look to give run-outs to newcomers Josh Ezewele, Kyle Morrison, Danny O’Callaghan, Kieron Cook and Mamoke Akauna and he will also run the rule over a couple of trialists.
He will also experiment tactically as Church prepare for their first season in the new Southern Central, with the league fixtures due to be released next week.
“I can’t wait for the games now and it’s a good opportunity for the players to get their match legs,” he said. “It’s the chance to look at a few things, and correct things if we need to.
“We’ll probably look at a couple of different things tactically during the pre-season games. The way we play has brought us success over the last three seasons but we want to look to create a Plan B when we need to.
“We’ve dominated a lot of sides in the last few seasons but we’re stepping up another level and we won’t have it all our own way. We need to have different options.”
Alvechurch confirmed they will still play visitors Bromsgrove Sporting in their pre-season game on Tuesday, July 24, despite the neighbours being drawn together in the FA Cup.
The tie on August 25 at Lye Meadow will attract a bumper crowd for one of the most eye-catching ties of the preliminary round.
“It’ll be a big game and one both clubs will look forward to,” said Long. “It’s a tough draw for both teams who you would probably say have been the two most successful clubs in non-League in the Midlands recently.
“We’re expecting a big crowd so it should be a nice little earner financially.”