Sporting boss Draper plans for new term

BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Keith Draper is not resting on his laurels as he plans for the 2012-13 season.

Draper is keen to keep most of his squad but also strengthen by adding players from a higher level.

The Victoria Ground outfit, who finished third in the Midland Combination Division One, are waiting to hear if they will be promoted to the Premier Division.

But Draper wants to make sure his squad is ready for whatever challenge they face.

“I want a first team squad of 24 players for next season if we go into the Premier Division,” said Draper.

“Up until November you play Saturday and mid-week which will take its toll on the squad, so I want to make sure we have at least two players in every position.

“We’ve used 29 players in the squad this season but to be fair those lads have also played in the reserves or Central Conference and I want to make sure I have the core ready.

“I have spoken to the players and they all want to be here next season which is great.

“I also have a quite a few players who are at a higher level I want to talk to.

“The interest in playing for Sporting is huge, I’ve already had 16 phonecalls from all sorts of places inquiring about trials at the club.”

Sporting ended their league campaign with a 1-1 draw at local rivals Fairfield Villa to make it unbeaten in 13 games.

With third place already secured and the Evesham Hospital Cup final against Littleton on Saturday, May 19, the Rouslers manager was happy with the match.

He said: “I think if you were a neutral you’d think Fairfield shaded the game and to be fair they would be right.

“It was a close game and there were great saves and a late goal, so there was plenty of excitement for the fans.

“I was also pleased with how it went, we showed Villa respect and they did the same for us and it was a good day.

“Villa did their homework on us and did a good job.”

Striker Chris Conway may face a lengthy lay-off after revealing he has played for the last two months with a broken bone in his foot. The striker, who has scored 36 goals for Phoenix United and Sporting this season, may need a plate put in.

Meanwhile, striker Jon Rogers scooped players’ and supporters’ player-of-the-season awards. Dan Wilkes was directors’ player of the season and Conway’s 25-yard lob against Shirley Town was voted as the goal of the campaign.

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