TOP scorer Dale Edwards’ decision to reject a move to Step Three side Alvechurch will send a message to his Studley team-mates that they are firmly on the right track for promotion.
Joint-managers John Edwards and Wayne Bunn are delighted the 16-goal front-runner has turned down a seven-day approach from Southern Premier Central neighbours Church.
It follows Max Loveridge’s decision to reject interest from other Step Three sides and Edwards says the decisions reflect a unity within the Bees camp and a determination to keep pushing for promotion from Midland League Division One.
“Dale is staying with us,” said Edwards. “That’s great news – it’s a big boost. He is our top scorer and I wouldn’t mind betting he is top of the assists as well. He is probably one of our best, if not the best, player this season and it would’ve been a blow to lose him.
“But the fact he is staying shows we must be do something right. We’ve had a good season so far but we’ve got so much more to do.”
Edwards and Bunn, however, believe they have got a strong squad to maintain a challenge, with recent signings Dean Fisher and Chris Cowley both seizing their chance to impress in a friendly against Romulus last weekend.
Fisher, signed from Romulus, scored in a 1-1 draw in a game which provided an opportunity for several players to get minutes under their belt.
Weather permitting, third-placed Studley will face a busy week ahead with a home game against bottom of the table Stafford Town on Saturday before a home and away double against NKF Burbage in Leicestershire on Tuesday and then at the Beehive next Saturday.
Edwards admits the weather forecast is not too encouraging for Saturday’s fixture against Stafford but he says he will not be worried by any fixture pile-up.
“We could be playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday pretty much every week until the season ends but I wouldn’t be concerned about that,” said Edwards.
“We’ve got a strong squad and playing two or three games a week will probably make it easier to keep everybody happy.”
Meanwhile, Studley have confirmed their Birmingham Midweek Challenge Cup quarter-final at Dudley Town has been arranged for Tuesday, February 4.