Wednesday December 14, 2016
CRADLEY co-promoter Gary Patchett says their team building plans remain right on track after Tuesday’s National League AGM.

Club bosses agreed on a new 39-point team building limit, slightly lower than last year’s 40-point limit which Patchett admits he expected to remain.

But he insists the move has had no substantial impact on their strategy to try and win back the National League title in 2017.

Said Patchett: “Even though it took the best part of five hours to complete, the AGM this year largely centred around administration issues. The nitty gritty that affects the team building was probably done in less than an hour.

“We’re happy to see two new teams come into the league, it adds a little bit of variety and the supporters like that.

“I know supporters will be wondering why the average has been dropped from 40 to 39, but you can’t get away from the fact that some clubs wanted it even lower than that.

“It was going to be either 40 or 38, but 39 was a nice middle ground that everyone generally seemed to be happy with.

“Our team building plans aren’t overly affected by it being a point lower than we thought, because there was a chance we’d come in slightly below the limit anyway.”

However, Patchett has revealed how they are facing a slight increase in Joe Lawlor’s average after an oversight was pointed out at the AGM.

And he has blasted some rival club bosses for attempting to scupper their team plans.

He commented: “We do have a little issue to address with Joe Lawlor’s average which is being clarified at the moment, because a campaign by one club promoter in particular was led against us.

“It makes you wonder why someone feels the need to lead the issue from the floor when they could go straight to the authorities.

“Joe’s average is only going to be, at worst, slightly over the figure we thought it would be so there won’t be a major issue there.

“Some promoters would be happy to saddle him with a 4.50 average to try and force him out of our plans, but I think that just sums up the vendetta some people have against us.”

Meanwhile, supporters can get their hands on season tickets for the 2017 campaign at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Thursday evening (7pm).

Another new signing will be in attendance as the fourth name on the team sheet alongside Danny Ayres, Tom Perry and Joe Lawlor is unveiled.

And Patchett has urged fans to come along and get their hands on their tickets for the new season.

He added: “We were absolutely bowled over by the response from the fans when we announced Danny Ayres last night.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a while, and we’ll have another exciting announcement on Thursday evening.

“We’ll see everyone who wants to attend at the season ticket night on Thursday to have a chat, a drink and get ready for the new season.”

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