We’re Off To Shakespeare Country

by Peter Scherer

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.” – Henry V, Act III, Scene I

Mickleover will be keen to return to winning ways on Saturday, when we visit Stratford Town, to resume our Southern Premier League Central Division campaign.

Our hosts are currently 14th in the table, but went down 0-1 to Hitchin Town at home on Tuesday evening. They have had five wins out of 14 games so far, the last at home to St.Ives on October 21st.

Ex Forest Junior midfielder and Bromsgrove manager Gavin Hurren has been in charge since September 2022 and took them to 14th place last season too.

Liam O’Brien became first choice keeper during last season and is a former England Under 19 International. He made 62 League Two appearances, but started his career when QPR signed him as junior from Ruislip, before he moved on to Portsmouth. After a loan at Eastbourne, he joined Barnet on his release, and after another loan at Eastbourne signed for Brentford.

He moved on to Dagenham & Redbridge, before going back to Portsmouth. Stays at Coventry City and Yeovil followed, before coming to Stratford in November 2020.

His deputy is Louis Beresford, has come through the Bards own youth scheme.

Signed in August 2021, midfielder Dan Lafferty is a former Northern Ireland Under 17 International, who came through the ranks at Coventry City.

Centre back and current captain Paul McCone was a summer 2022 arrival from Halesowen. He started at Wolves and has also played for Stourbridge, Leamington, Hednesford, Telford and back to Stourbridge.

Experienced defender Lee Vaughan joined the squad towards the end of last season. An ex Birmingham City and Portsmouth Junior, he was at Chelmsley before Walsall signed him. Then a loan at Willenhall preceded a move to Telford, moving onto Kidderminster, Cheltenham, Tranmere, Solihull and Barnet.  He came to Stratford after 18 months at Stourbridge, but received a red card in last weeks defeat at Nantwich in the FA Trophy.

Lewis Ison is a defender signed from Hednesford last February. He was picked up by Bristol Rovers from Coventry Utd, but then moved to Nuneaton before returning to Coventry.

Dan Vann is a centre back, having been at the club since July 2019 since arriving from Walsall. He was also loaned to Stafford, Matlock and Chasetown during his time with the Saddlers.

Striker Callum Ebanks ended last season on loan from Cheltenham and over the last two years he has also been loaned to Evesham, Bromsgrove, Eastleigh and Bath City. He returned to Stratford for the start of this season on a permanent basis.

Midfielder Charlie Williams was signed last March after being released by Burton Albion. He was previously loaned to Leamington, Banbury and Redditch.

Alex Worley is a centre back that started out at Walsall. He was sent out on loan to Welsh Premier League side Haverfordwest, before joining Stourbridge on his release, where he spent last season. He came to Stratford at the start of this term.

Left back Chris Hussey has league two experience, but started out at Woking. AFC Wimbledon was his next stop, with a loan at Windsor & Eton, before joining Coventry City.

After another loan at Crewe Alexandra, he returned to AFC Wimbledon, but after six months came to Burton Albion. Bury, Sheffield Utd, Swindon, Cheltenham, Port Vale and Stockport all followed, before arriving at Walsall at the beginning of this season. He then came to Stratford in September.

Defensive midfielder Dylan Barkers arrived from Hereford a month ago. After starting out at Solihull Moors, he moved on to Guiseley, Alvechurch and Cheltenham. He was then loaned back to Alvechurch, along with spells at Leamington, Gloucester and Maidstone. He started this season at Hereford before his recent move to our hosts.

Tom Solanke was a West Bromwich Albion Junior. A midfielder, capped by England at Under 15 and 16 levels, he joined Stourbridge on his release in December 2021.

He then moved on to Weymouth, Alvechurch and Boston Utd, before being loaned to Ilkeston. He came to our hosts pre-season from Boston.

Jack Storer is an experienced striker or midfielder. He played his junior football with Birmingham City, Shirley Town, Wolves, Paget Rangers and Stevenage, before a full time spell at Birmingham.

Loans at Yeovil, Gloucester City and Solihull Moors followed, before a permanent move to Patrick Thistle. After a spell at Redditch he came to Mickleover for a year, before moving onto Leamington.

Telford, Redditch, Gresley Rovers, Highgate and Stourport followed, before arriving at Stratford in November 2021. After eight months he returned to Highgate, but spent the early part of this year with Bruno’s Magpies in Gibraltar. He came back to Stratford pre-season.

Teenaged striker Jaylan Wildbore was signed in January, following his release from Fulham in summer 2022. He played junior football for Leicester City and Burton Albion too, before joining Fulham.

Centre back Liam Daly arrived from Rushall Olympic in July, but most of his experience has been at National League level. Starting out at Evesham, he played for Corby, Redditch, Solihull, Halesowen, Leamington and Barwell, before returning to Solihull for a five-year spell.

Gloucester, Barnet, Stourbridge, Nuneaton, Kettering and Ilkeston followed, before his recent nine month stay at Rushall.

16 year old midfielder Devonn O’Sullivan is part of the clubs academy but recently joined the first team squad too, as has fellow midfielder Finn Harvey.

Kick off as usual is 3pm.

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