11th Dec, 2019

Busy Byfield adds strike pair in Alvechurch revamp

DARREN BYFIELD joked he is becoming the most unpopular manager in Midlands non-League as he steps up his Alvechurch revamp.

The Church boss was delighted to this week secure the arrival of powerhouse Bromsgrove Sporting striker Kyle Perry and hot prospect Kye Dryden from Chelmsley Town to follow the returns of Zack Foster and Matt Sargeant plus last week’s signing of Courtney Richards.

Byfield hinted more signings will follow, with ex-Bromsgrove and Coleshill keeper Matt Cotton also set to join in time for Saturday’s home fixture with Biggleswade Town.

The arrivals have also meant the departures of Danico Johnson, Lloyd Ransome and Kyle Rowley.

Byfield admitted he needed to act to try and find a balance to turn promising performances into points after a run of just two wins in nine games in Southern Premier Central this term.

“I’m probably the most hated manager in Midlands non-League because I’ve been on the phone to this manager and that manager trying to bring in players,” said Byfield.

“We need to improve and that means putting in seven-day approaches for other club’s players.

“It’s been a busy few weeks with players coming and going and we’ve made a few more seven days which we’re waiting to hear on because the players are with clubs still in the FA Cup.

“We haven’t had the best of starts but there is potential in the squad, 100 per cent. We’re trying to get the balance right and hopefully making the changes we have done will help to do that.”

Byfield hopes the capture of experienced forward Perry, whose CV includes spells at Chasetown, Tamworth and AFC Telford United, will be the catalyst for an upturn.

“I need men in the team and Pez is a man,” said Byfield. “He has been around for a good while and played at a high level. Hopefully he will galvanise the team. We needed a No 9 and I’ve got one in Pez. It’s a big signing for us.”

Left-back Foster has rejoined, having left to follow former boss Ian Long to Stourbridge, while keeper Sargeant has re-signed from Nuneaton Town. However, a knee injury is set to keep him sidelined for another couple of weeks but Byfield is confident Cotton will be signed before Saturday.

Ransome, who had been No 1, has returned to Walsall Wood but Johnson and Rowley, who were also part of a summer influx, will be moving on.

“We’ve had to build a new team but we can’t use that as an excuse for poor results,” said Byfield. “As players, as coaching staff, as manager, we all need to do better. It’s my job to make sure that happens.”

Byfield felt it was a familiar tale as Alvechurch had plenty of possession and looked the more likely scorers but ended up losing 3-2 at Nuneaton Borough on Saturday.

The hosts struck inside five minutes through Luke Benbow and, although Alvechurch then dominated, Mitchell Candlin made it 2-0 just before half-time.

Javia Roberts bagged his first goal of the season from Ben Usher-Shipway’s pass to give Church hope early in the second period and Usher-Shipway hit the bar before Ryan Edmunds smacked home Boro’s third.

Former Torquay and Brighton midfielder Richards, who had joined last week, got a debut goal to cut the deficit after the keeper fumbled Jordan Goddard’s free kick but it was too little, too late.

After Saturday’s home game against tenth-placed Biggleswade, Byfield and Co will head to former club Redditch United for a League Challenge Cup tie on Tuesday at the Trico Stadium.

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