Reserves challenged to make step up after duo and joint manager Ross leave Horncastle Town

Manager Stones wants Wongers second string to fight for places...
Stones and Ross. Photo: Oliver AtkinStones and Ross. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Stones and Ross. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Horncastle Town manager Mickey Stones believes it is time for a handful of squad players to make places in the starting XI their own after two departures.

Striker Luke Blondel and midfielder Andrew Bullivant have both left The Wong to join Lincolnshire League rivals Nettleham, while joint manager Allan Ross has stepped down.

“Luke and Bully have signed or Nettleham. They’re Lincoln based lads,” Stones explained.

“They were in and out the side last season and it’s a decision they’ve made.

“A couple of lads from the reserves have stepped up to full their boots already; Liam Cotton and Ollie Dean, they’re similar players to the ones we’ve lost.”

While Stones has plenty of faith in the Cotton and Dean, he is adamant they aren’t the only players in the Wongers’ second string who can make the step up.

“They’re both really good lads and there’s a few others in the reserves as well that we’re keen to get involved with the first team,” he added.

“They’ve been in and out but we need them to start nailing down places and not accepting being in the reserves.

“If a couple step up and start believing they’re first team players we should be good to go again next season.”

Ross has taken the decision to step away from Town’s dug-out after returning to the club last summer.

“It’s disappointing. It was a difficult season with Covid. It was stop-start and we struggled a bit results wise,” Stones continued.

“He didn’t feel it had gone the way he wanted it to. We tried it and it didn’t quite work so he’s decided he was going to step down.

“We’re still good friends and we see each other all the time. He’ll still support the club, he just felt it hadn’t gone the way we wanted it to.”

Ross’ departure means Town will revert back to their previous managerial set-up with Steve Lovett, Nathan Rawdon and John Rawdon supporting Stones.

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