The kids are alright for Longlevens in big weekend for the club

Longlevens are looking to the future this weekend in both the first team’s trip to Bracknell Town and the U17’s potential title winning fixture against Charlton Rovers.

After a complete overhaul in management through their four most senior sides Longlevens find themselves in a very healthy position as a club. Their first team have been mid-table in the Hellenic Premier for the majority of the season and are all but safe from relegation. Their third team are pushing for promotion in the Stroud and District Division Two and now their U17’s are on the brink of adding some silverware.

On Sunday afternoon the U17’s are away to 2nd placed Charlton Rovers, knowing that a win will see them win the Cheltenham Youth League title. Manager Tom Shaw has been reflecting on a groundbreaking season at the helm.

“Overall the season has gone well. Been very stop start because of weekends with no games but when we’ve had games all of the lads have been superb.”
“[Sunday is] our biggest game of the season and a chance to win the league with a game to spare. {Charlton Rovers} been the side we’ve been looking over our shoulder at all year, knowing that one slip up would have let them back in with a chance to win the league. They’re going to be well up for the game and will want to do everything they can to make to the league go down to the final game. Having played them twice already we are familiar with how they play so it is important we set up properly and earn the right to play because they’re a very good side and will punish us if we aren’t performing.”

A number of Shaw’s squad have gone on to make their senior debuts and have gone on to play for one of the four mens teams. Shaw said that “at a time when some of the team have started to play men’s football, it has been easy to see who has and who hasn’t because these players have added a physical side to their game they didn’t have at the start of the year.”

Twenty four hours earlier another of the young Longlevens players will be called into the first team squad as they travel to high flying Bracknell Town, in Severn Sport’s featured game. Forward Isaac Johns is in the match day squad for the trip and with Brad Martin struggling from a niggly calf injury the youngster could find himself starting in the Hellenic Premier.

Manager Mark Moore has confidence in his latest young fledgling to make it into the first team. He said,

“We are under no illusion how much potential Isaac has. He was offered an apprenticeship at Cheltenham Town but he turned it down to further his education. Isaac has settled in well at the club and we have allowed him time to adapt into men’s football. Getting his first call up with us was a great moment for him and the club as a whole. We are showing that we are doing the right thing by trying to progress the young loads through the club.”

Moore was beaming as we spoke about how he has been able to mix youth players with his first team squad. Johns follows the likes of Harry Emmett, Tom Powell-Davies and Ollie Long in making the step up into the first team this season. Moore pointed out that “…it is a great achievement for a club like Longlevens to have the depth of talent we have in our ranks let alone with the youngsters we have had coming through this season. Hopefully we can bring a few more through in the coming weeks as we look ahead to next season.”

Can Longlevens cause an upset as they travel east to face Bracknell Town? Find out by following live updates on our Facebook & Twitter pages.

Saturday’s Hellenic League Fixtures:

Binfield vs Brimscombe & Thrupp

Bracknell Town vs Longlevens

Fairford Town vs Windsor

Flackwell Heath vs Lydney Town

Woodley United vs Tuffley Rovers

Remember all games will be subject to the weather as the final remnants of a terrible cold spell blow through.