Longlevens manager Mark Moore has drafted two 16 year old midfielders & recalled veteran left back Craig Beaton into his matchday squad for Saturday’s Hellenic League home fixture against Highmoor Ibis.
Ex-Forest Green U19s captain Tom Powell-Davis and Ex-Cheltenham Town academy midfielder Harry Emmett joined Longlevens in the summer and have thrived in the Gloucester based side’s third team. Under the stewardship of joint managers Dan English & Dan MacDonald they have led the team to the top of the Stroud & District League Division Two.
After such an impressive start to their Longlevens careers English is quick to praise his youthful side and in particular Powell-Davis & Emmett.
“Both are early products of local professional football academies and came to the football club after being released or simply not enjoying the academy football scene. We’re just trying to give them the best platform to firstly, enjoy their football, but also to play a good level, so we are really pleased to hear them get a first team call up,” said English.
The youngsters performances haven’t got unnoticed and with the revelation that first team manager Moore is looking to promote youth from within, the duo have a serious chance to stake a claim in a somewhat depleted Longlevens midfield. With injuries to Dave Rich, Ollie Long & Jay Kennedy in recent weeks and with Brad Vanstone jetting off to Australia for six months it has left a void in the midfield that Moore is eager to fill.
Craig Beaton returns after a fruitful stint at Gloucestershire County side Hardwicke and should slot into the side in his usual left back role in place of the injured Ellis Sausman and Jack Byard, who like Vanstone in midfield has flown out to Australia.
Speaking about the return of Beaton, manager Mark Moore said:
“We sent Beats off to get some game time under his belt in order to increase his match fitness. We’ve been tracking him throughout and have been pleased with what we’ve heard about his performances for Hardwicke. We wanted to get him back sooner but unfortunately he had to serve a one game suspension over the Christmas period which he has now served so he can be available.”
Longlevens will be looking to build on a very busy and efficient Festive period which saw the side from Saw Mills take 9 points from a possible 12, including convincing wins against Burnham & Lydney Town.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s game Moore assessed his side’s current form:
“The past month we have turned in some really good performances against the teams around us, which has resulted in us picking up points and climbing the table. We’ve beaten Burnham, Lydney Town and Brackley Town Saints and although we narrowly lost to Thatcham in amongst that run, the performance that we gave was positive against a side who are probably one of the form teams in the country at our level at the minute.”
Severn Sport’s Predicted XI
Wintle, Long, Kavanagh, Smyllie, Beaton, Welch, Turner, Merrick, O’Connor, C Martin, B Martin
**Longlevens will also be in action a week on Tuesday after they were drawn away to Brimscombe & Thrupp in the BlueFin Sports Hellenic Supplementary Cup. The tie takes place on Tuesday 23rd January at the Meadow with a 19:45 kick off**