FECKENHAM see the capture of defender Haden Smith from Northfield Town as the crucial final piece of their jigsaw.
The Millers have fought off interest from other clubs to persuade the 19-year-old former Kidderminster Harriers youngster to become their fifth signing of the season.
With Feckenham facing a growing fixture pile-up – they have to yet to play in 2018 – manager Aaron Blackwood is determined to ensure they have enough cover to cope as they push towards the pace-setters in Midland League Division Two and he believes the teenager has “terrific ability and potential”.
Joint assistant manager Tom Davies agrees, saying: “With Haden joining we believe we now have the right amount of quality, depth and flexibility to help us achieve our aims this season.
“He’s still young but has a good background and an awful lot of ability and potential which fits the profile of our squad.
“I’m aware that we weren’t the only side chasing his signature and his friendship with Adam (Garmson) stood us in good stead and he also knows Connor Perry-Holmes from their time at Kidderminster Harriers together.
“We’ve had some very productive conversations with Haden after the seven days’ approach were up and he’s brought into what we’re trying to achieve and believes Feckenham will be a good place for him to get back to enjoying his football whilst continuing his development.”
Smith came through the youth set-up at Kidderminster, going on to play a leading role in Harriers’ 2015/16 National League U19 Alliance title-winning team and joined pre-season training with the first team under John Eustace. He played in their Worcestershire Senior Cup-winning team but then had a spell away from the game before joining Northfield at the start of this season.
The Millers will have their fingers crossed they can beat the weather on Saturday (2pm) when they are due to host Droitwich in the semi-finals of the Worcestershire Junior Cup at the Entaco. Sixth placed Feckenham last played on December 23, defeating Pelsall Villa 4-1.
They will face a Spa side which lies three places and eight points worse off, although the Millers have played two more games.
Millers boss Blackwood, whose side sit seven points adrift of second placed Hampton with two games in hand, was disappointed if not surprised by the postponement of Saturday’s match at promotion hopefuls Montpellier.
“In all honesty I can’t say I was surprised, we had a lot of rain overnight. It was a game we were all looking forward to as Montpellier are one of the promotion favourites and have a talented group, but we’re always confident if we perform the way we’re capable we can compete with any side at this level,” said the manager.
“We’ve got 14 weeks left of the season and a minimum of 18 games left, but we firmly believe we’ve got the squad to deal with that. The group have done well this season, especially in cup competitions, which adds to that potential backlog but we can’t complain.
“The reality is we’d rather be in this position than not, so we’ll enjoy it, continue to work hard and take it game by game.
“I’m more than happy with the squad now – we are back up to 20 with George Tolley (broken metatarsal sustained in August) also not a million miles away from returning – so have healthy competition in every area.
“It’ll be a good game against a Droitwich side with a terrific forward line. We know we’ll have to be near our best to come away with a positive result, as we were at their place earlier in the season, but it’s definitely a fixture we’ll be prepared for.”
New signing Smith is ineligible for the cup fixture.