All change for Daventry Town in the summer?

BATTLING FOR THE BALL - action from Daventry Town's 2-2 draw with Bedford last Saturday (Pictures: Dave Ikin)
BATTLING FOR THE BALL - action from Daventry Town's 2-2 draw with Bedford last Saturday (Pictures: Dave Ikin)

If Daventry Town really are to launch another promotion bid in the 2015-16 campaign then manager Allan Smart and Ady Fuller will have to be ruthless in culling the squad during the summer recess.

All but a handful of current players will be surplus to requirements if the Town are to challenge for honours for the third time in only six years since going up to the Southern League.

The hard facts are that the shock 4-2 New Year’s Day win at Bedworth was the Purple Army’s only success against top 10 Division One Central opposition since October.

At least Saturday’s late fightback in a 2-2 draw with Bedford prevented the Eagles from joining Kettering Town, Aylesbury United, Royston and Potters Bar as club which have all done the double over Daventry so far this season.

With the Poppies seemingly all set for promotion to the premier division, life is not about to get any easier at step four level with AFC Rushden & Diamonds on course to move up from the UCL. Diamonds will bring big gates and big expectations, bolstered by a huge contingent of ex-Daventry Town players.

For evidence of this, look to last month’s 9-0 humiliation of Desborough Town.

Ex-Daventry captain Liam Dolman scored four times from central defence while there were goals too for former Communications Park favourites Russell Dunkley, Adam Confue and Tom Berwick.

Dolman probably ranks as the best centre half to have graced the UCL ranks since the legendary Des Waldock plied his trade for Long Buckby and Daventry before the turn of the century.

Meanwhile, Town themselves remain in a state of flux going into this Saturday’s London clash with a Hanwell team still occupying a play-offs place.

Players continue to come and go with alarming regularity! The quick turnover has again been highlighted by the departures of two central defenders in Oxford United’s talented teenager Robbie Cundy and Craig McKay, who cited travelling costs when moving on.

Cundy has now been loaned out by his parent club to Chesham United. Midfield man Ben Farrell said ‘financial reasons’ were behind his decision to quit while Jack Howard opted to play closer to home for Godalming Town.

On the credit side Simon King made his debut on the left wing in the 2-2 draw with Bedford whilst ex-Luton academy player Ryan Da Silva was named on the bench at Browns Road.

Despite looking a shade corpulent, Joe Henderson coped well in defence on returning from a spell with his home town club Woodford United and James Hancocks also caught the eye as a second half left back substitute.

Goalkeeper Ben Heath remains out of favour with the management, but young replacement Louis Porcelli will need to improve his kicking out of hand and on the floor if viewed as a long-term prospect.

Highlight of the remaining nine league matches should be the money-spinning last home game of the season against near-neighbours Rugby Town on April 18.