15th Dec, 2019

Studley bring in Loveridge to prepare for busy spell

IN-FORM Studley are aiming to follow up the capture of former Redditch United and Bromsgrove Sporting midfielder Max Loveridge with a move for utility man Jean Kalenda.

Bosses John Edwards and Wayne Bunn are determined to ensure the Bees’ squad is more than capable of dealing with a growing fixture pile-up to keep them in touch with the Midland Division One promotion-chasers.

Bringing in experienced Southern Premier player Loveridge, who has latterly been at Walsall Wood, is a big sign of intent and he is set to feature in Saturday’s home game against Ashby Ivanhoe.

Loveridge had a run-out in a hastily-arranged friendly win against AFC Solihull on Saturday on the 3G pitch after the clash at NKF Burbage had been postponed and Edwards was impressed.

“We heard a rumour that Max wasn’t enjoying his football at Walsall Wood so we tried our luck and it paid off,” said Edwards.

“It proves the old adage – you don’t know until you ask.

“His attitude is first class – in training he stands out – and he has got the quality and experience of playing in the Southern Premier.

“We’ve been on a good run of form but you have to keep improving. We’re aware we’ve had games called off and we’re going to be playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday until Christmas and beyond so we need to have a squad that can cope.”

The Bees are also optimistic of bringing in former Hinckley AFC, Stourbridge and Stratford Town player Kalenda, who can play at centre-back or in midfield, from Lye Town.

Lye manager Mark Jones allowed Kalenda to train with Studley with a view to joining but the paperwork will have to wait until the seven days notice expires. Although Jones has said Kalenda is not part of his plans, Lye did not want to waive the seven days because Studley had signed Mark Magee from them earlier this month.

“Jean hasn’t played for a while but he came training with us after I spoke to Mark Jones at Lye and hopefully we can get something done for next week.

“He will give us another option in midfield and at the back.”

Fifth-placed Studley will have Matt Edwards back available to face Ashby on Saturday, while Luke Dugmore suggests he could also be back fit, but Sean Cooke is absent.

Cooke scored the winner when the Bees returned with a 1-0 victory from Leicestershire when the sides met at the end of September.

“It’s going to be another tough game on Saturday,” said Edwards. “Ashby are on a good run of form. They are strong and organised at the back, they’ve got a couple of good central midfielders and a very good centre-forward. We’ll have to play well.”

On Tuesday, Studley are also at the Beehive when Chelmsley Town are the visitors in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup. Chelmsley were the last team to defeat the Bees, winning their League Cup tie 4-3 at Pack Meadow on September 23.

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