Alvechurch FC appoints new manager and signs extra players.
It’s all change at Alvechurch FC as they look ahead to next season, with a new management team and some exciting new signings.
Having won back-to-back promotions and narrowly missed out on a third in 2019, manager Ian Long decided to seek a new challenge at Stourbridge FC, along with assistant Richie Colwell and goalkeeping coach Chris Walwyn – plus players Ashley Carter, Tom Turton, Dave Bellis, Zac Foster, Charlie Price and Kieran Cook.
However, new manager Darren Byfield immediately set about rebuilding the team, bringing several players with him from Walsall Wood: experienced goalkeeper Lloyd Ransome, pacey winger John Atherton, striker Danico Johnson, central midfielder Stuart McNaught, young defender Kyle Rowley, and former ’Church player Javia Roberts.
Darren also signed 6’4’’ striker Anthony Smith, who joins from Midland Football League side Continental Star. Anthony scored a staggering 54 goals last season and won the Total Midland League top scorer award.
Darren himself started his professional career at Aston Villa before moving on to Walsall, scoring the winning goal in the 2001 play-off final. Spells at Rotherham, Sunderland, Gillingham, Millwall, Bristol City and a return to Walsall followed before joining Tamworth, Solihull Moors and Redditch in the non-league arena.
In a career spanning 476 matches and 107 goals, Darren has also been capped six times by Jamaica, scoring once. After retiring from playing, Darren has managed Redditch United, Stratford Town and Walsall Wood, who missed out on promotion on goal difference to Ilkeston Town last season.
The Alvechurch management team will be completed with assistant manager Ade Luxton, Peter Till and goalkeeping coach Reevesy.
Meanwhile, fans are delighted that right back Josh Ezewele, captain and centre back Jamie Willets, sibling defenders Kyle and Taylor Morrison, and central midfielder Mitch Botfield have all committed for next season.
However, more departures include keeper Danny Crane, who becomes assistant manager at Gresley; Golden Boot winner Josh March, who moves up a level to National League side Leamington; Lee Chilton, who joins Evesham after an injury-plagued season; and forward Joe Phillips, who returns to Aberystwyth Town.
* Congratulations to all the winners of the Player of the Year awards for 2018/19: Supporters’ Player – Jamie Willetts
Chairman’s Player – Josh March and Jamie Willetts
Players’ Player – Dave Bellis
Young Player – Kieran Cook
Golden Boot – Josh March
Goal of the Season – Kieran Cook vs Bromsgrove 4/9/18
* AFC have frozen their season ticket prices for the coming season. Prices are: Adults £150; Seniors (65+) £100; Juniors (13-17) £75. Pay online using the PAYMENTS form (5% charge to cover payment provider fees), or via BACS Transfer to Lloyds Bank (sort code 30-96-97, account 01860704). Please reference payment with your ticket type: ADULT, SENIOR or JUNIOR and appropriate payment.
* On Friday September 6, Lye Meadow hosts a luncheon with former Arsenal, Middlesbrough and England footballer Ray Parlour as guest speaker. Tickets £65 per head or £600 for a table of 10 (to include a three-course Indian meal), available via the chairman and directors.
* For more info or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Trevor Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch
Follow the club on Twitter @Alvechurch1st
Tues July 9 Littleton (A) 7.30pm
Sat July 13 West Brom Albion (H) 3pm
Tues July 16 AFC Wulfrunians (A) 7.45pm
Sat July 20 Leamington (H) 3pm
Tues July 23 Westfields (A) 7.45pm
Tues July 30 Halesowen Town (A) 7.45pm
Sat Aug 3 Evesham Utd (H) 3pm
Season begins Sat Aug 10