By Peter Scherer
Mickleover look forward to hosting Alvechurch on Tuesday night, as we go into the match top of the table, with two wins and not a goal conceded.
Alvechurch finished 11th in the Southern Premier League Central Division last season, which probably wasn’t a true reflection on their form.
Having knocked Sports out of the FA Cup 2-3 at home, they went on to have a successful Cup Run, which left them way behind in games played in the league.
Mickleover won the home league game 1-0, but after numerous postponements, we lost the return 1-2.
But ‘Church were on the receiving end of a 0-2 defeat as they visited Hitchin Town on this season’s opening day, before facing newly promoted newly promoted AFC Sudbury last Saturday, taking a 1-0 win with a goal from debutant Kai George.
Manager Ian Long returned to the club in February 2020, having left eight months earlier to take charge at Stourbridge. He has also managed Tividale and played for Willenhall Town, Blakenhall, Oldbury Utd and Rushall Olympic.
First choice goalkeeper Dale Eve is a Bermudan International at Under 16, Under 17 and Full International. After playing for Dandy Town Hornets in his early teens, he had two years with Derby County, before moving on to Stoke City.
He was loaned to Fleetwood, Nuneaton, Newcastle Town, Congleton and Forest Green, but made his last stay permanent. He then returned to Dandy Town for six months, before signing for Ilkeston in 2017. Robin Hood FC in Bermuda was the next stop, before going to Spennymoor and arriving at Alvechurch in July, after nine months at Hereford.
Right back Ben Cassidy is a home produced player, debuting in 20/21 season and now a regular first team member.
Former Northern Ireland Under 19 centre back Ethan Patterson, was a former Aston Villa Junior. He had spell in Iceland with Throttur Vogum and on his UK return joined our visitors for 15th months, before moving on to Worcester Raiders. He started this year at Hednesford and returned to Alvechurch pre-season.
Right back Josh Dugmore played his junior football at Everton and Birmingham City. On his release he went to Bromsgrove and Telford, before spending four months at Banbury prior to his Alvechurch arrival in January.
Kobe Chong is a midfielder who started at Kidderminster before signing for West Bromwich Albion. He then went to Italy with Cagliari for two years and returned to the UK with Solihull.
After spells at Banbury, Redditch and Sutton Coldfield, he joined Peterborough Utd and went on loan to Peterborough Sports. After release he went to Telford and started this year at Nuneaton, before joining Alvechurch pre-season.
Midfielder Jack Concannon came from Tamworth in July 2022. A former Birmingham City Youth player, he had loans at Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth too.
Mackenzie Lamb is a midfielder on loan from Peterborough Utd. He was previously with West Bromwich Albion.
Striker Jaanai Gordon started out at Peterborough Utd, before being spotted by West Ham Utd. He was then loaned to Chelmsford, Nuneaton and Sligo Rovers in Ireland and after a further loan at Newport County he was released.
He then signed for Cheltenham and his career moved on via Tamworth, Banbury, Oxford City, Stratford, Hereford, Brackley and Boston Utd, from where he joined our visitors pre-season, after a loan at Nuneaton.
Reserve keeper Harvey Randle was at Birmingham City and Derby County, before coming to Alvechurch July last year. He has also been on loan at Coventry Utd.
Midfielder Jack Hallahan is an Alvechurch returnee. He arrived in November 2021 and left in February to join Evesham, before returning last month. He started at Burton Albion and was loaned to Belper Town and has played for Coalville, Hednesford and Bromsgrove too, as well as being capped by Northern Ireland at Under 19 level.
Claudio Dias is another midfielder, who has been at Alvechurch almost two years. A former Northampton Town youngster, he was loaned to Corby and Banbury before going to Dunstable on his release. Bedford, Braintree, Potton Utd, Stratford, Tamworth, Banbury and Nuneaton followed, before a two month stay at Rushden & Diamonds preceded his stay at Alvechurch.
Left sided midfielder Nicky Clayton-Phillips is in his second Alvechurch stay. He was at West Bromwich Albion, who loaned him out to Braintree, Kidderminster and Solihull Moors, before going to Stourbridge on his release.
Only a few weeks later he joined Alvechurch in September 2021, going to Kidderminster a month later, before returning to Alvechurch in December the same year.
Striker Kai Adan George scored the winning goal against AFC Sudbury last Saturday on his debut. A former Birmingham City player, he made a couple of starts for Blues first team and had a spell on loan at Walsall, before coming to Alvechurch just over a week ago.
Shay Willock is another recently arrived striker, following his release from Walsall. He started out at Solihull Moors and also had a loan spell at Worcester Raiders last year.
Former Port vale full back Ammar Dyer is another new singing, from Bromsgrove. He has also played for Leek Town.
Centre back Abel Alabi has just returned to Alvechurch. He was at Southend and Waterford in Ireland, before joining Coventry City. He was loaned to Tamworth and had two spells at Alvechurch, before his Sky Blues release earlier this month.
Centre back Yaw Ofosu is a new signing from Cambridge City, where he made over 100 appearances since joining them from Newport Pagnell Town.
Defender Nathan Kelly has recently arrived from Halesowen. He was a Birmingham City Junior and was loaned to Kidderminster, before joining Solihull, who loaned him to Redditch and Leamington. He also played for Sutton Coldfield, Leicester Road, Nuneaton, Worcester City and Coventry Utd.
Midfielder or wing back Demi Akinwe has been signed from Bromsgrove., who he joined in March from Hednesford Town, where he had been since November 2022. He had been on loan at Northern Premier League Division One Midlands outfit Gresley Rovers, playing four times in January 2023. He was at Shrewsbury Town during the summer of 2022 and is a product of the West Bromwich Albion youth academy.
Jamie Spiers is another midfielder. He came to Alvechurch at the beginning of last season, following his release from Shrewsbury. He left to join Racing Club Warwick and has recently returned.
Striker Ross Evans came in from Solihull Moors a couple of weeks ago, having come through their youth scheme.
Dylan Allen-Hadley is another young striker having returned to Alvechurch. He was a West Bromwich Albion Junior and was with our visitors before going to Redditch and Romulus.
Striker Leo Brown scored seven goals in 26 games last year but hasn’t been in the squad so far. Ethan Hanson is a young centre back signed from Stourport Swifts and fellow defender Cory Cooper has also been in the squad.
Kick off as usual is 7.45pm at the Don Amott Arena.
SO RESIDENTS OF MICKLEOVER SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR A WINNING TEAM!!