Blyth and Mackey can shoot Brakes to glory, says Cadden

JASON Cadden has identified Leamington’s front two as being key to their prospects for the coming season.

The former Brakes boss made his first visit to the New Windmill since his 2009 sacking when he and Morton Titterton brought their Stratford side to Harbury Lane for a friendly on Tuesday night.

Goals from Lee Downes, Jacob Blyth and Liam Daly condemned the Midland Alliance outfit to a 3-0 defeat, but it was the performance of Blyth and strike partner Ben Mackey which caught Cadden’s eye.

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While already aware of the qualities of Mackey, Cadden was clearly impressed by seeing his teenage strike partner at close quarters.

“It was the first time I’ve properly seen him and he’s an excellent prospect,” said Cadden.

“He’s young and the sort of player you try and tie to the club, otherwise they’ll struggle to keep hold of him.

“Ben’s class, a good asset for the club.

“He was the favourite player I ever had at Leamington, a great character - I wish we had him at Stratford.

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“With him and Jacob together they won’t go far wrong and I would expect them to be top-five all season.”

The Leamington side is almost unrecognisable from the one Cadden left 21 months ago, with only Jamie Husband and Michael Tuohy remaining.

However, Town’s assistant manager said the memories of his nine-year association made for some mixed feelings on his return.

“It was a bit weird when I first came down Harbury Lane. But once I was inside it was just like any other away ground.

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“It was lovely to see some of the old faces and it was nice that they were chuffed to see us.”

Despite Stratford’s defeat, Cadden saw plenty of encouraging signs from his side’s first friendly run-out.

However, despite having a side packed with experienced former Brakes, he says promotion will still be a tall order.

“It’s a hard league to get out of with just one place up for grabs. It took Leamington a while.

“It’s important to get a good start. If we can get a good six, seven or eight-game unbeaten run then it will set our stall out and we’ll see how we go from there.”

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