Back To The League Campaign

by Peter Scherer

Following last weekends outstanding Cup Tie at Oldham, it’s back to league action at the Don Amott Arena on Saturday, when we face third in the table Leamington.

We are now one point off table toppers Needham Market in second place, with a three-point cushion over Leamington and three games in hand.

Leon Clarke and Matty Bowman will both be back after missing last weekend being cup tied. But there are a few other concerns too. “Marcus Barnes is away for a few days and Ben Sault picked up a slight calf strain, but should be fit,” said gaffer John McGrath.

“Longer term we will be without Andre Wright for the rest of the season and both Ryan Wilson and Joe Bateman need operations and will be out for three months and six weeks each,” he added.

The Brakes were relegated from the National League North last season and have only suffered one defeat in their last 10 matches, going down 1-2 at Needham Market in the last away trip. They drew at home with Barwell last weekend.

Manager Paul Holleran has been in charge for 14 years. An ex Birmingham City Junior, he also played for Alvechurch and Solihull Borough and was manager for Kings Norton Town and Rushall Olympic before joining our visitors.

Goalkeeper Callum Hawkins is well known to Mickleover fans after two lengthy loan spells at the Don Amott Arena, during his time with Burton Albion.

He was also loaned to Gresley Rovers before his first spell at Mickleover in 2018. He returned in August 2021 and was initially loaned to Leamington too, but picked up an ACL injury and was out of action for the second half of last season.

Following his recovery he made a permanent move to the Brakes and has been first choice since his arrival.

Deputy keeper Luke Slater is a product of the clubs own youth scheme.

Right back Dan Meredith is in his fourth season with Leamington since arriving from West Bromwich Albion in September 2020. He was initially on loan at the end of the 2019/20 season and also had a loan spell at Maidstone.

Midfielder Josh Quaynor was a pre-season signing from Halesowen. He started out at Cheltenham and moved onto Stourbridge and Coleshill Town, before a five year stay at Bromsgrove. He spent all last season at Halesowen.

Theo Streete is an ex Derby County centre back. During his time with the Rams he was loaned to Doncaster Rovers, before joining Rotherham on his release. Solihull, Alfreton and Nuneaton were his next stops and he came to Leamington in July 2022 after four years at Telford. He could well be missing this weekend, as he serves a red card suspension.

Jack Lane is another centre back, who started out at Macclesfield Town. After loans at Newcastle Town and Stockport Sports, he went to Hinckley Utd, before crossing the Atlantic to play for Ventura County and Sacramento FC in the US. 

Having returned to the UK with Ilkeston in 2014, he moved on to Nuneaton, before a two-year spell at Tamworth and a month at Alfreton preceding his Leamington arrival in August 2018.

Left back Jiah Medrano came from Shepshed Dynamo pre-season. He was previously at Yeovil and Kirby Muxloe. 

Junior English is another right back who started out as a  youngster with Moor Green, Walsall and Coventry City. Then after more than 12 years at Solihull, he spent a further three with Worcester City and has just started his seventh season with Leamington.

Central midfielder Adam Walker was a Coventry City youngster, who joined Nuneaton after his release, following an earlier loan spell. Solihull and Brackley were his next stops, before a 2 ½ year stint with Telford preceded his January 2022 move to the Brakes.

Captain Joe Clarke is another long serving player, having arrived from Tamworth in July 2017. He started at Redditch, but soon moved on via Solihull and Darlington, before a four-year spell at Wrexham. Next stop was Kidderminster, who also loaned him to Brackley, before spending a year at Tamworth prior to his Leamington move.

Jack Edwards is yet another long server, in his second spell with the club. Having started out at Studley, he played for Coventry Sphinx and Barwell before his first arrival at Leamington in July 2014. Three years later he moved to Solihull, but after just two months he was back with the Brakes.

Will Shorrock is a former Walsall Junior midfielder, who was only signed in October from Rushall Olympic. He had four years at Bromsgrove prior to his Rushall move.

Striker Tyrone Barnet has over 300 league appearances and nearly a 100 goals under his belt, in a long and well-travelled career. He started at West Bromwich Albion and joined Rushall on his release, back in 2003.

Telford, Willenhall, Hednesford, Macclesfield, Crawley Town and Peterborough Utd were his next stops, with loans at  Ipswich Town,  Bristol City and Oxford Utd, before going to Shrewsbury on his release.

After another loan at Southend, he joined AFC Wimbledon, with moves to Port Vale, Cheltenham and Eastleigh following, before spending last season with Hereford Utd, moving to Leamington pre-season. He also coaches the clubs under 18’s.

Striker Henry Landers was another pre-season signing from Banbury, having been there for three years. He also played for North Leigh and Maidenhead Utd.

Connor Taylor is a striker too. Aston Villa picked him up from Coventry Spinx and loaned him to Tamworth, before he joined Walsall on his release. 

After a loan at Nuneaton, he made a permanent move to Tamworth, but after four years made his first move to Leamington in July 2018. After three years he left for Bromsgrove, but came back in March 2022.

Striker Cally Stewart was a summer signing from Coventry Sphinx, having scored 40 goals in the United Counties League for Sphinx last season.

Ewan Williams is a midfielder, signed from Coleshill Town a couple of weeks ago. He previously had a spell at Atherstone.

Midfielders Dan Baldwin, Zac Taylor and Toby Nicholl have also become part of the first team squad, after graduating through the Brakes own Youth Scheme and Reserve team.


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