Bolstered squad gives Fogarty a selection poser

Manager Luke Fogarty saw his Southam United side run out 4-1 winners over Northampton Spencer from the United Counties League last Saturday and now has the task of pairing down his squad for the opening Athium Midland Combination fixture at Continental Star tomorrow, writes David Hucker.

The win made it six out of seven for Saints in their pre-season programme and Fogarty introduced two new players in former Leamington and Brackley striker Robbie Beard and 19-year-old goalkeeper Matt Oliver from Bromyard, who will understudy Jim Stott.

Two penalties by Jack Taylor and further strikes from Beard and Ross Jackson proved too much for the visitors, who could have no complaints with the result.

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Speaking after the match, Fogarty said: “They were a big, strong team, but we dominated from the start and looked impressive.  

“The build-up has gone well and we should have made it a clean sweep, but changed the teams around to give everyone a chance and now have to choose our strongest side for what will be a tough opening match.”

Saints have been looking to add to their striking options this season and Beard will join Tunde Ajibade, Jackson, Neil Stacey and David Wilson in the fight for places up front.

Fogarty admits that Beard, who has been out of the game for a while, is a long way from full fitness, but describes him as “top quality” and his signing is a coup for the ambitious south Warwickshire club.

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Competition for the midfield will also be hot, although Fogarty may be losing Mark Anderson, who is moving to take up a job in London, as well as James Hardie, who is only available until he starts at university next month.

The returning Josh Cole has impressed in pre-season but, while available tomorrow, will miss next week’s FA Cup extra preliminary- round tie against Tipton Town.

Fogarty has been putting the finishing touches to his preparations with two training sessions this week and, apart from Stott, has a full squad to choose from.

He is keeping his cards close to his chest over team selection, saying only that he had made his mind up about “seven or eight” with the rest of the places still up for grabs.

n Saints are hosting an FA/Tesco skills day on Monday.

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The session is aimed at boys and girls aged five to 11 and, under the guidance of former England international Marieanne Spacey and her team of FA-qualified coaches, will include skills coaching and fun activities with prizes.

The session, which is free of charge, starts at 9.45am and finishes at 3pm.

Contact Charles Hill on 07802 949781.

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