Longlevens manager Craig Martin has expressed his delight and thanks to Forest Green Rovers Head of Academy Scott Bartlett after the trio of loanees Sam Hendy, Lewis Spurrier and Jay Malshanskyj helped turn his side’s season around.
After seeing his side lingering in the bottom two for the majority of his time as manager, Martin saw his side produce relegation avoiding form that would have seen Longlevens sit 6th in the Hellenic Premier – based on the final 15 games of the season.
Whilst the turn around was a team effort, Martin acknowledged the influence the young Forest Green men had on the team.
“The boys came down and fit right in straight away. To start with we had Jay and Sam come in to help us, but then an injury to Sam allowed us to bring Lewis in during a crucial run. Credit to all of them for coming in and getting on with the task straight away.
The rest of the squad made them feel right at home as soon as they arrived and that benefitted us greatly.”
During their loan spell with Longlevens, all three of Hendy, Spurrier and Malshanskyj have impressed with their maturity and application on and off the field. Malshanskyj in particular has caught the eye of everyone who has seen him and is being tipped to have a great career in football.
Martin spoke to Severn Sport about the effect the players had on his squad and praised them for the contribution they all made to the Hellenic League survival bid.
“All three of them scored goals for us this season, which was great. It was also the work rate and skill they have that created chances for others.
Jay in particular scored 8 goals in 12 games, Lewis has 2 and Sam has 1, but they have all contributed to so many points this season and I am grateful for Forest Green Rovers and Scott Bartlett for arranging the deals and hopefully we can continue bringing players on next season for them.” Martin added.
In their final Hellenic Premier game of the season, Spurrier and Malshanskyj were both on the scoresheet as Longlevens ended the season with a 4-1 win over Binfield.
The win meant that after being in a relegation battle all season, Longlevens finished comfortably ahead of the relegation zone in 16th.
Malshanskyj also scored the winning goal in Longlevens’ crucial 2-1 win over Reading City on Good Friday, in a result that secured Levens’ safety after a testing and dramatic season.
With the trio making a number of eye-catching performances, they are tipped to go further in their football career and Martin has told Severn Sport that he is proud that they have represented Longlevens during their development.
“I am very proud that the boys have come to Longlevens and helped us survive this season. I’m sure that the lads will be pleased that they have done so well in such a short period of time at the club.
Jay’s performance today vs Binfield for example sums up the lads’ determination and work rate with his endless running and it is a defender’s nightmare. He scored two great striker’s goals today.
I was delighted that Lewis got the final say today with a great individual bit of skill and a superb finish. His other goal this season won us a vital three points at Fairford earlier this year, so it was great for him to add to that today.”
Severn Sport understands that Malshanskyj, Hendy and Spurrier find out if they are going to be offered professional contracts in the next few weeks, so we wish them all the luck in the world.