Hadleigh looking to the future
HADLEIGH United manager Stuart Crawford is looking to the future between now and the end of the season.
Crawford has seen his squad trimmed down in recent weeks and plans to give some of the club’s promising youngsters the chance to show what they can do in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.
Crawford has lost loan duo Lee McGlone and Luke Ingram while Remi Garrett has joined Felixstowe & Walton United, Shaun French has opted to work weekends and out-of-favour Warren Taylor-Holt is not expected to feature again this season.
Leiston striker McGlone has signed for Needham Market while Bury Town midfielder Ingram has gone on loan to AFC Sudbury. On the plus side Hadleigh have brought in pacey young Needham Market striker Luke Wade.
Crawford said: “Lee was only ever here in the short-term, but losing him was a big blow for us. Even though he was not fully fit while he was with us he showed he is a quality player. Luke also did well for us, but we then lost him to Sudbury.
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“Young lads from our youth team will get their chance before the end of the season. Midfielders Michael Barwick and Tom Driscoll have already played, and there are a couple more who have been involved but not yet played although they will over the next few games as they deserve a chance.”
With regular goalkeeper Dan Heath unavailable, Andrew Plummer was signed at short notice to help out at Walsham-le-Willows in Hadleigh’s last match and kept a clean sheet, but is currently taking a break from football.
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Heath will return for tomorrow’s home game against Stanway Rovers – the start of a run of eight out of Hadleigh’s last 11 league games, including matches against three of the current top four, to take place at the Millfield.
Hadleigh, who sit 12th in the table, will be without suspended centre backs Kris Rose and Jack Cawley and midfielder Liam Jennings.
Centre back Mark Gaisford, recently signed from Stanway after Paul Donnelly was ruled out for the rest of the season, will make his debut against his former club.
Crawford, who is eager to return to action after having his tonsils out and then two blank weekends because of the bad weather, said: “He has not played since December, but we have got no other centre backs so he will play.”
While most clubs would relish having home advantage in the majority of their remaining matches, Crawford added: “I don’t see it as being a massive advantage. We have actually been better away from home this season!”