BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Paul Smith admits he may have to come out of retirement as ten players are missing for this weekend’s pre-season friendly against Leamington.
Reece Francis, Aaron Roberts, Liam Spink, Jack Wilson, Sam Wills, Robbie Bunn, Josh Quaynor are all away on holiday while Daniel Morris (wedding), newly-signed Max Loveridge (hamstring) and Joe Ward (back) are also unavailable to face their National League North visitors tomorrow (Saturday).
With only 11 players at his disposal, Smith told the Standard he may have to put the boots back on for the first time in nine years.
“My last game was helping my friend Steve McGinn out when he was managing Earlswood Town and believe it or not, I actually scored,” the former Alvechurch defender joked.
“Having ten players away is not ideal and it means I might have to put myself on the substitutes bench.
“It’s just unfortunate that so many players are away for our toughest pre-season friendly but it will give a huge opportunity for others to impress.
“There is only a week left before our FA Cup game against Rocester so it gives those who are available this weekend to stake a huge claim to earn a starting place come August 5.”
Smith also revealed he will be promoting midfielder Max Tranter, defender Matt Savage and striker Joe Hingley from Sporting’s reserve team after the trio impressed in training.
“Ever since I joined Bromsgrove I wanted to make sure the first-team and youth sides were brought closer together,” he said.
“Whenever the chance arrives I am a firm believer in giving youngsters the experience of being involved with the first-team whether they play or not.
“Just being around the first team and seeing what it is like is a valuable learning experience.
“Max has been involved before and I have very high hopes for him but it is also a chance for Joe and Matt to impress.”
Meanwhile, central midfielder Loveridge has finally put pen-to-paper with Sporting following three years at Southern Premier outfit Redditch United.
But Smith added he may have to dip back into the transfer market if Ward’s back problem is a long-term injury.
“Max is a great signing for us and will be a key part going forward,” Smith said.
“We are just waiting for the scan results to come back for Joe but we are hopeful it is just a muscle injury.
“If it is a serious problem, then I will have to think about bringing somebody else in to cover.”
Sporting travel to Southern Premier side Stratford Town on Tuesday night (7.45pm KO) for their final pre-season friendly.