Upbeat Daventry Town chairman Humphrey still aiming high

Daventry Town chairman Iain Humphrey
Daventry Town chairman Iain Humphrey

Daventry Town chairman Iain Humphrey is confident that the Purple Army will mount another Southern League promotion challenge during the 2015-16 season.

“New managers Allan Smart and Ady Fuller have a three-year plan and together we will sit down and sort out our strategy in January,” said the Communications Park supremo.

First things first though, with Smart and Fuller needing to ensure that their good rapport in the dugout leads to the Town taking advantage of an 11-point cushion over relegation-threatened clubs AFC Hayes and Beaconsfield SYCOB.

Smart said: “Tell the loyal fans they need to be patient. There will be more players coming and going in the next month or so before things settle down in the New Year.”

The 40-years-old Scotsman runs a government-sponsored football apprenticeship scheme at Heathrow, and his new chairman is eagerly anticipating a similar venture in Daventry next season.

“Allan is ambitious like me and wants eventually to be a Football League manager,” added Humphrey, “First though he wants to achieve success with Daventry Town.”

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Aylesbury United at Leighton Buzzard left the Town 14th in the SL’s Central Division One. That equals the Daventry club’s worst-ever step four placing under Mark Kinsella more than two years ago.

Meanwhile, chairman Humphrey feels that come January Daventry will be able to start assembling a team capable of challenging for promotion again next season.

Current assistant manager Fuller steered Town to the Southern League play-offs at the first attempt in 2011, while Darran Foster went on to repeat that feat earlier this year.

Short term improvements to the current first team squad will be achieved if Smart and Fuller manage to capture a couple of central defenders.

Midfield strengthening is also needed with Ryan Howell still on the casualty list.

Former club captain Aaron Parkinson may be persuaded to return full time now that UCL title favourites AFC Rushden and Diamonds have been eliminated from the FA Vase.

Woodford youngster Joe Henderson is also being lined up for a return to Browns Road as Daventry prepare to face Godalming at Communications Park this weekend.

At Leighton, veteran striker Howard Forinton lasted only eight minutes as a second half substitute before receiving an inexplicable straight red card. Short of a successful appeal, a three-match ban will be imposed.

The first Town player to be dismissed since Josh Cole twice received marching orders in August, Forinton showed understandable frustration by kicking the water bottles in the away dug-out.

“All I did was gently nudge an Aylesbury player,” said the incredulous Forinton. “At first I thought the referee was just going to give me a mild telling off.” Not so!

The much travelled 39-year-old should be back on duty by the time Daventry have put back the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day fixtures to take place on Saturday afternoons.