Miners boss aiming to get 2018 on track in title charge

Andy Alls is hoping the backlog of fixtures potentially awaiting Kimberley Miners Welfare won't affect their title charge.
Andy Alls is hoping the backlog of fixtures potentially awaiting Kimberley Miners Welfare won't affect their title charge.

Kimberley Miners Welfare boss Andy Alls says he’s keen for his side to get some momentum going in 2018 having been so far frustrated by defeats and postponements.

The Miners’ last league outing was a 2-1 defeat to Dunkirk on January 13, that followed by a 7-0 loss at Evo-Stik Division One South side Basford United three days later.

But having only played 20 league games all season and with several in hand on some of the teams above them, Alls has his fingers crossed this weekend’s trip to Gedling goes ahead as Kimberley aim to get their title challenge back in full swing.

He said: “It’s been frustrating as even though you can do nothing about the weather, I felt the league could have arranged us one or two midweek games because there has been scope to do that on the calendar.

“But as it stands we haven’t even played half of our league games yet so hopefully we won’t get to the point where we’re playing four games a week to catch up.

“We have quite a good-sized squad so if that happens I’m confident we’ll be able to cope, but with a lot at stake you want players to be as fresh as possible.

“Teams at the top are bound to drop points at various times so we need to be ready to capitalise given the games in hand we have.”

It was confirmed this week that Kimberley have submitted an application for promotion to step five should they either win the league or be the highest-placed applicant from the East Midlands Counties League.

Local rivals Selston are also in the title race but have not applied to go up, meaning a runners-up spot could be enough should Craig Weston’s men win the league.

Alls said there was a distinct keenness for Welfare to try their hand at the higher level if they can.

He said: “We had a meeting about it and decided that we’d give step five a go if we could. It would be the Midland Football League Premier Division we’d go into which is a very strong league, and whilst we’re not saying we’d win it I think we’d be able to hold our own.

“So we will see what happens and where we finish but there is a very real incentive for us to challenge for the honours now given the players know that promotion could be achieved.”

Alls added that the Notts Senior Cup visit to Basford last time out was, despite the result, a useful experience for his team.

He said: “The setup there is fantastic and there are some quality players. It’s good to see so many younger players given a chance there.

“It was a tough night for us in several senses, particularly as we hadn’t played much and were a bit rusty, but overall we learned quite a lot and despite the scoreline we didn’t let ourselves down.

“Everything the chairman at Basford is doing is fantastic and good luck to them because they’re doing things the right way.”