ALVECHURCH have quickly started planning for the new Midlands-based Step Three by confirming a dozen of their promotion-winning squad will be remaining at Lye Meadow.
Manager Ian Long is determined to build on the success of the last three seasons when Church step up into the new Southern League Central.
The FA confirmed the non-League structure last week, with Church, promoted from the Northern Premier League South, lining up next term against the likes of Redditch United, Tamworth, Stratford Town and Hednesford Town.
Long has confirmed goalkeepers Paul Evans and Charlie Price have followed Josh March, Aaron Lloyd, Andy Parsons, Ryan Winwood, Zack Foster, Dave Bellis and Luke Yates in pledging their futures to the club.
Like Yates and March, skipper Ash Carter has been offered a new contract.
Youngsters Ben Tilbury and Elliott Reeves will also be part of the plans, with teen Callum Debar invited to pre-season training.
Meanwhile, Alvechurch’s hold of the JW Hunt Cup was ended by a 2-0 midweek semi-final defeat to Atherstone Town.
The Adders, who had won the Birmingham Midweek Floodlit Cup, progressed to another final with first half goals from Ryan Quinn and Nathan Haines in Tuesday’s contest.
Carter volleyed wide for Alvechurch before Quinn broke the deadlock in the 26th minute.
March’s header bounced over the bar after the break before Yates fired at the Adders keeper and Lloyd’s header flew over.
There was disappointment for Alvechurch reserves too who lost 2-0 to Gresley, who had pipped them for the Midland League Reserve Division title, in the Challenge Trophy final.
Step 3 – Southern League Central 2018/19:
AFC Rushden & Diamonds; Alvechurch; Barwell; Bedworth United; Biggleswade Town; Coalville Town; Halesowen Town; Hednesford Town; Hitchin Town; Kettering Town; King’s Lynn Town; Leiston; Lowestoft Town; Needham Market; Redditch United; Royston Town; Rushall Olympic; St Ives Town; St Neots Town; Stourbridge; Stratford Town; Tamworth.