Members of the Evo-Stik League South

Not been all plain sailing for AFC boss

On the eve of AFC Dunstable making their debut in the Southern League, manager Steve Heath feels the gods are against him. After all the jubilation of winning the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands, Heath took a well earned holiday knowing all his title winning side had committed for the new venture and was all set for a smooth pre season.

On his return from his foreign beach holiday, he strengthened his squad with the signings of Adiel Mannion from Berkhamsted, Danny Murphy from Aylesbury and ex AFC Tom Silford from Bedford. Also returning was Jason Beck. All seemed to be going to plan, then suddenly he lost striker Nathan Frater to Royston Town. Next influential midfielder Charlie Gorman decided to have a season off, as he and his partner are expecting their first child.

Matters then got worse, when centre back Bill Morgan was promoted at work and could not commit to playing Saturdays.

With the start of the season not far away, offers came in for four of his squad. Thankfully they all decided to stay at AFC but Heath felt his squad was slightly unsettled with the big kick off on the horizon.

So with the season looming with the first game against Uxbridge, he thought he had ironed out all his problems, as it seemed he would only be missing new signing Murphy, who would be on holiday. Then the bad news started to raise its ugly head. Firstly he was informed by club record scorer BJ Christie that he had a family wedding and would miss the opener. Experienced defender and lynch pin Leon Cashman picked up an ankle injury in a friendly against Hemel Hempstead Town and was ruled out. 

Heath thought it could not get any worse with the 3 missing but felt he could assemble a competitive squad. Then Mannion reported an ankle injury he picked up 3 days before the game, of which he will now miss.

Heath said " with all the excitement of the new season in the Southern League and everything in place, suddenly I have been presented with these problems. It nearly got worse when a 1 match suspension flagged up for Jason Beck 24 hours before the game. Thankfully it was for Sunday football. It was getting to the stage, that I dare not answer my phone. I will though put out a team that I know will give everything for the club and still be competitive and will not use any excuses, as I still have great faith in my squad"

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