FOOTBALL: ALVECHURCH will bring in goalkeeper Charlie Price – and potentially Sam Smith and Aaron Lloyd – as they look to build a squad to win promotion next season.
Price will be the first signing of the close season after switching from Stourbridge but he will be a familiar face to Churchmen boss Ian Long and No 2 Richard Colwell.
The young keeper was the last line of defence when Long won the Midland Alliance with Tividale two summers ago.
“Charlie is a very good keeper and will be a great character in the dressing room,” said Long. “He played for us when we won the league at Tividale but he hasn’t had that much joy at Stourbridge through injury and selection.
“He is a real bubbly character, full of energy and he will be a great signing for us.”
Alvechurch will also include former Stourbridge, Stafford Rangers and Chasetown defender Smith, and ex-Causeway United and Halesowen Town striker Lloyd when they begin pre-season training at the end of June.
Smith, a pal of Church defender Mark Smith, is looking to get his career back on track after injury problems, while Lloyd too will need to prove his fitness to challenge for a place in the squad.
Long says there will be changes in the Lye Meadow squad, with the likelihood of four players set to depart the club which finished runners-up in the Midland League Premier Division and won the Worcs Senior Urn.
Keeper Matt Sargeant is set to join Romulus, defender Richard Huckfield is leaving with Wolves Sporting the favourites for his signature while striker Karl Edwards will be moving on to find more regular football.
Long is also trying to convince Chris Field to remain as he ponders his football future because a new job could curtail his commitments.
“There won’t be wholesale changes – there will be some new players coming in and we will lose a few as well,” said Long.
“Matt Sargeant is going to Romulus, Richard Huckfield is leaving, as is Karl Edwards. ‘Banger’ has been great for me but with Jordan Nadat coming in he has not played as much. He’s 33 in August and he wants to be playing on a regular basis.
“Chris Field is thinking over his future but I’m trying to persuade him to stay. He’s got a new job which means he can’t give his usual 110 per cent. But we don’t want to lose him.”
Edwards ended the season with one of the accolades at the Alvechurch presentation evening.
The striker was named chairman’s player of the year, winning Richard Thorndike’s praise.
Defender Andy Parsons was players’ player of the year, with midfielder Sam Williams getting the manager’s prize. Top scorer Nadat was the supporters’ player of the season.
For the youth team, Brad Carter was the first year manager’s player of the year and Jack Francis was the second year manager’s player. Players’ player was Brogan Halpin and Danny Moy was top scorer.