REDDITCH United manager Liam McDonald said it was a “huge compliment” to him personally and the club that star forward Jermaine Hylton had rejected a seven-day approach for his services from a Conference Premier outfit on Wednesday.
Hylton has been in devastating form since his return from injury with nine goals in four victorious league and cup games which have propelled the Reds to the fringe of the Southern League Premier Division play-off zone.
However, McDonald revealed Hylton has again pledged his immediate future to the Reds as he believes his development is better served at the Valley Stadium.
“Jermaine has turned down the chance to move two divisions higher and that is a huge compliment to me as a manager and to the club for the way it has helped him develop,” said the manager.
“Jermaine is a fantastic player and his progress is, of course, mainly down to him and his ability, but there have been things we as a coaching team have improved with his game and he’s getting better all the time as this work continues.
“This is a big boost to the club and its fans because it shows that such a gifted player is appreciative of the progress being made here and is in no rush to leave.
“I firmly believe Jermaine will be playing League football in the not too distant future – he’s that good – but for now we are thrilled he’s staying.
“He could have moved and been playing in front of a couple of thousand fans before the end of the month, but he’s proved what a great bond and respect the players have for each other here and wants to continue his development with us.”
Redditch moved up to sixth place – one place and two points outside the play-off places, as Saturday’s crushing 7-2 home victory over Bideford was followed by another convincing win – 2-1 at Chippenham Town on Tuesday.
McDonald’s side now face two tough tests on home soil as Saturday’s visit of Chesham United is followed by Monday’s game at home to St Neots Town, who are currently second.
However, the gaffer is convinced his side can continue their devastating form – which has seen them score 25 goals in their last four matches – provided they play with commitment and positivity.
He added: “I said this time last week that I firmly believed we’d take six points from Bideford and Chippenham provided we played to our potential and that’s what we did.
“I expect two very difficult games but it’s all about us. I am hopeful positive performances will be reflected by positive results.
“We need to keep our focus, do our jobs as individuals and as a team and that’ll give us a massive chance of good results in the next few weeks.”
Hylton struck twice on Saturday and there was also a brace for Jamie Spencer as United scored five times in the second half to see off Bideford 7-2 after the match had been level at 2-2 at the break.
Three days later Hylton and Spencer were again on the mark as Redditch eased to a 2-1 win at Chippenham, who bagged a late consolation goal.
“We were dominant in both games, even on Tuesday, although the scoreline doesn’t reflect it,” said McDonald.
“The lads have worked hard, got themselves on a good run and long may it continue.”
United head into the weekend’s game at full strength having seen Ümit Eminoğlu’s international clearance arrive. The Turkish-English midfielder has four caps to his name for the Turkish U18 side.
Meanwhile, McDonald has swooped to sign talented winger Dior Angus from Solihull Moors. Angus, who has a real eye for goal, took part in his first Reds training session last night (Thursday).
“His potential is massive. He’s lost his way a bit but it’s my job to restore Dior’s confidence and then we really will have some player on our hands,” added McDonald.