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Friday December 06 2019

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Village Features

AFC look for new boss

Posted on November 29 2019 at 1:10:56

Action from a rare home win against St Ives (Photo/ Ian Macvie)

Alvechurch FC hope change at the top will bring better results. 

Alvechurch have parted company with manager Darren Byfield after a run of poor results that has left them just outside the relegation zone.

The club said in an official statement: “It is with sadness that we announce the departure of Darren Byfield as First Team Manager [. . . ] It was always going to be a task of mammoth proportions assembling a new squad following the departure of most of the team from last season.

“We’ve picked up points here and there and although there are green shoots of recovery, the board felt it was time to move in a different direction. We would like to thank Darren for his efforts this season and wish him well for the future.”

Dean Holtham, who rescued the club from certain relegation in the 2011/12 season, has stepped into the breach until a permanent replacement is found. He will also continue his duties as the club’s Education Programme Director.

The last straw in Byfield’s reign was a defeat to Peterborough Sports in the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy. ’Church had put in a battling performance, especially as they had to play the last 20 minutes with ten men due to the harsh dismissal of Archie Brennan for handball.

In the sixth minute of stoppage time Alvechurch gave away a needless free-kick; and Cameron Johnson made no mistake finally beating Joe Slinn to send Peterborough through.

The loss came after defeats at the first hurdle in the FA Cup, JW Hunt Cup, Southern League Challenge Cup and Birmingham Senior Cup, and only one league win since August.

AFC must now navigate some tricky fixtures before Christmas, including high-flying Coalville Town and old rivals Stourbridge. There’s also an away match at Worcester Raiders in the Worcestershire Senior Cup quarter final – date to be confirmed.


* Before his departure, Darren Byfield had made several new signings, including the return of skilful midfielder Aaron Birch. Joining him in midfield are Paul Douglas, Fortune Maphosa and Ivor Lawton.

Three exciting young forwards have also been signed: Fin Thorndike from West Bromwich Albion’s under-18s and Stanley Asomugha from the under-23s, plus centre forward Kieran Miller from Wolverhampton Casuals.

In defence, Linden Dovey has joined from Stratford Town, while international clearance was required to sign Ryan Wollacott from Aberystwyth Town.


* Meanwhile, Courtney Richards has joined Stratford Town after a short stay at Lye Meadow, Josh Ezewele has joined up with ex-Alvechurch manager Ian Long at Stourbridge, Stuart McNaught and John Atherton have returned to Walsall Wood and Miracle Okafor has joined Highgate United.

Ben Usher-Shipway has returned to Solihull Moors, having completed his three-month loan at AFC. Ben won Player of the Month during his stay but a hamstring injury has put him out of action recently.


* Congratulations to goalkeeper Joe Slinn for winning Supporters’ Player of the Month for October. Recent signing Joe has become an instant favourite with the Alvechurch faithful thanks to his domination of the box, reflexes and brave keeping.

Goal of the Month for October goes to Mitch Botfield, whose individual run from the halfway line and finishing ensured the club secured a vital point away at Needham Market.


* The directors, management and players would like to wish all supporters a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year.


* For more info or sponsorship enquiries, please contact Trevor Ball at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/alvechurch
Follow the club on Twitter @Alvechurch1st


FIXTURES (League unless stated)

Tues Dec 3  Stourbridge (H) 7.45pm 

Sat Dec 7  Lowestoft Town (A) 3pm

Tues Dec 10  Coalville Town (H) 7.45pm

Sat Dec 14  Biggleswade Town (A) 3pm

Sat Dec 21  Tamworth (H) 3pm

Thur Dec 26  Bromsgrove Sporting (H) 3pm

Wed Jan 1  Redditch United (A) 3pm

Sat Jan 4  Royston Town (H) 3pm

Above: Action from a rare home win against St Ives (Photo/ Ian Macvie)


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