REDDITCH United defender Louis Ezewele is looking forward to a fresh start at the TRICO Stadium after injuries prevented the 21-year-old from showing the Reds fans his true potential after joining in January.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s (Thursday) Worcestershire Senior Cup final against Alvechurch at Evesham United, Ezewele admitted he was frustrated at the lack of playing time last season, but it was great to be getting a full pre-season under his belt.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here so far but, unfortunately, injuries plagued me for the majority of last season,” said the affable defender.
“However, this is a fresh start with a new manager and a new group of players, so I am looking forward to the season finally starting.”
Paul Davis is the new man in the dugout at the TRICO and Ezewele said he has been impressed with the manager’s philosophy.
“The gaffer has arrived with new and fresh ideas and wants us to play football on the ground, which suits me perfectly,” said Ezewele.
“He’s already discussed targets with the group – I won’t reveal them at this stage! – and if we all stick together there is no reason why we can’t achieve our goals.”
More than a dozen new players have arrived at the club this summer, some of whom are familiar to Ezewele, like Jamie Ashmore and Luke Keen. Both Joel Meade and Declan Benjamin, signed from Oxford City, are two who have caught the eye of the defender.
He added: “They’re both professional in what they do. At training and on match days, they lead by example, which is rubbing off on the rest of the squad.”
Redditch United fans would have been refreshing the club’s Twitter page last Thursday as the Reds’ fixture list was announced ahead of the 2018/19 Southern League Premier Central season – and Ezewele was no different.
He said: “My brother Josh, who was here at Redditch on loan last season, now plays for Alvechurch. I have friends who also play there, so that is a game I was looking out for!
“There are a lot of local derbies in this league, though, which is always exciting for us and the supporters.”
The Reds booked their place in tonight’s final thanks to a 6-5 penalty shoot-win following a 1-1 draw at Evesham United on Sunday.
Both goals arrived just before the hour mark – the opener from a Redditch trialist – but there were no further goals and it was Tom Fishwick who netted the winning spot-kick immediately after Evesham’s Carl Brown had been the only player to miss when he fired over.
The semi-final came 24 hours after a Reds XI were beaten 3-1 by a well-organised Worcester City side at the TRICO. Edji Mbunga’s powerful run and pass provided the assist for a trialist to score the Reds’ goal.
MEANWHILE, popular Reds centre-back Jim Mutton has departed to join Sutton Coldfield Town.
A United spokesman said: “Redditch United would like to thank Jim for his services and he leaves the TRICO Stadium with the best wishes of everybody associated with the club.”