FOOTBALL: Concannon is setting sights on play-off push

Didcot Town defender Adam Learoyd (right) has been recruited from Oxford City

Didcot Town defender Adam Learoyd (right) has been recruited from Oxford City

First published in Non League Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Didcot Town joint manager Ian Concannon is targeting a play-off challenge.

They have brought in a number of impressive signings as they look to build on last term’s form, starting with tomorrow’s Southern League Division 1 South & West visit of Swindon Supermarine.

The Railwaymen include goal-machine Ryan Brooks, from Ardley United, midfielders Matt Clark (ex-North Leigh) and Luke Abrahart from Thatcham Town, plus defender Adam Learoyd from Oxford City.

Preparations have been hampered by an injury list which includes Brooks (hamstring) and Josh Dutton-Black (ankle), who are injury doubts.

“We want to carry on the momentum from last season,” said Concannon.

“We had a good run in and didn’t want the season to end.

“When we were safe from relegation, we were determined not to let the season fizzle out. People were either playing to stay in the team or trying to get into the team.

“This time we want to be right up there, pushing for the play-offs.”

IN: Brooks (Ardley), Learoyd (Oxford City), Abrahart (Swindon Supermarine), Clark (North Leigh), Self (Oxford City), Organ (North Leigh).

OUT: M Woodley (North Leigh), Ollie Thomas (Milton Utd).

North Leigh boss Mark Gee is hoping that getting his players back early for pre-season training will pay off, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Mangotsfield.

Gee, in his 15th season at Eynsham Park, is hoping the early start will give his side the upper hand.

“We got them in before the end of June,” said Gee. “It’s not like when I was a player – now you have gyms where they can keep themselves fit.

“That means when the players come back, we can work on tactics and team shape straight away.”

Gee deliberately made his signings early on, bringing in the former Oxford City duo of keeper Matt Bulman and midfielder Callum McNish, ex-U’s youngster Conor Ingram and former Aberdeen and Bolton striker Michael Bird.

Gee is looking at another play-off tilt. He added: “That’s the aim.”

IN: Bird (unattached), Bulman, McNish (both Oxford City), C Ingram (Oxford Utd), M Woodley (Didcot T).

OUT: Malone (Oxford City), Bell (Chesham Utd).

TOMORROW’S SQUADS

Didcot Tn (v Supermarine, home): Foster, A Williams, Elkins, Carnell, Learoyd, Organ, Whitehead, Baines, Clark, Self, L Williams, Mills, Parish, McKirnan, Bernasconi, Abrahart.

North Leigh (v Mangotsfield, home): from Bulman, Westlake, Hole, Gunn, M Woodley, McNish, Osborne-Ricketts, A Woodley, Sanders, Williams, Bowles, Eadle, C Ingram, Caton.

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