MANAGER Quentin Townsend began to tick off the pieces of Pershore Town’s squad for the new season with a mix of old and new.
Townsend confirmed key figures of last term have signed for the new Midland League Division One campaign with Steve Roche, Steve Webb, Dane Aldington, James Walker, Will Stallard, Ben Lane and Dean Waldron following skipper Shaun Griffiths in putting pen to paper.
Pershore will also have experienced utility man Robbie Ager and centre half Tim Beattie on board after they switched from league rivals Littleton.
University of Worcester youngsters Jordan Hayward, a left back, and Joe Bevan, a midfielder, have both caught the eye in the early weeks of pre-season training alongside teenage winger Chris Goode, who was with Cheltenham Town’s Academy, and 6ft 7ins Sunday League goalkeeper Chris Rich, who has also been on Worcester City’s radar.
They all featured in Pershore’s first friendly on Tuesday when a mix and match team went down 3-1 at Highgate United in a game played in three 30-minute periods. Martin Crawford scored Pershore’s goal.
“It was a good workout,” said Townsend. “We were winning 1-0 until the final period. We more than matched them, we didn’t look out of place against higher league opposition.
“There were a lot of positives. I swapped players around and a lot of the players were 18 to 22. It was a real eye-opener to see how they coped.”
The experience of former Studley, Bromsgrove and Feckenham player Ager could be essential in knitting together the younger elements.
“I was with Robbie at Studley when he was starting out and he is exactly the same,” said Townsend. “He is fit as a fiddle, he has got plenty of energy and his know-how will be a real help to the rest of the lads.”
Pershore’s next test will be a trip to Alcester Town on Saturday before they welcome Worcester City to the King George V Stadium next Saturday.
Townsend will continue his hunt for striker options after being frustrated in potential moves. With last term’s top scorer Jamie Clarke having departed, a regular goal-getter or two is top of the wanted list.
“I’ve fallen short on a few targets,” said Townsend. “I’ve lost players to other clubs who have got more money. We won’t overstretch ourselves with what we can afford so we will be patient.
“I’m sure players will become available in the next three weeks or in the first few weeks of the season.”