Following yesterday’s news of the departure of Martyn Davies back to Market Drayton Town after just three weeks as joint manager of the football club, Luke Goddard is now back in sole charge. The manager wanted to update supporters on the latest state of play, particularly regarding some of the players enticed to the club by Davies.

“Firstly I’d like to thank Martyn for helping me here over the past five matches,” said the Reds chief. “I always knew when asking him to join me here that eventually he would go back to Drayton once the individuals that harshly sacked him had stepped down, and that’s what has happened. Neither of us forecast that it would happen so soon, but of course that just shows you how fragile football can be and ultimately that’s what has happened so we have to move forward.

“The players that came here via Martyn will follow him back, and that’s to be expected because they didn’t have long enough with us to realise what we’re all about. If I were to leave, I’d come back for some of the players here with me now and that’s the nature of the beast. There are no hard feelings in whatever decision they have decided to make from my point of view. We are what we are and I’m proud of that, so if people wish to be here then they will be. It’s not my way to try and force or beg anyone to play for Whitchurch Alport Football Club. It should be an honour to be asked to represent this club; this town.

“Even with a couple leaving the squad we are in a good position with the core all still here from day one of our journey. Ben Mills played 60 minutes on Saturday in a friendly and is now back available which is a huge boost. Last year’s top goalscorer Mike Blundell will also be returning this week full time, so along with the skipper Si Everall we have bags of firepower, despite the loss of players such as Jud (Ellis) back to Drayton. It’s a strikeforce that we are very lucky to have at his level and clubs would give a lot to have that as their forward options in the league above, never mind the one we’re in. Also returning shortly is Louis James who has been away since Carlisle back in November, and Lou will add more competition to the squad. He’s another quality and dependable player who knows what we are about here at Alport after playing a huge part in last year’s success in reaching the playoffs. Potentially we have two more players returning this week that featured last year who can also bring that passion and will give us some great options during this Christmas period and into the new year.

“In terms of other players incoming, we are actively looking at the areas we feel that we can strengthen, and when we have things confirmed we will be in a position to release more news. We are in good form and go into three big games to try and finish the year off in style. Despite the recent drama, this football club is in a very good place both on and off the field. Collectively we are united, focussed and determined to bring success here in all areas. That work continues day by day behind the scenes and the wonderful support we get from the fans spurs us on to deliver our targets – nothing has changed in that regard. As long as the lads that have the privilege of wearing that red shirt give their all and are here for the right reasons, I, and I know the supporters, will never have an issue. So that’s what we will continue to work towards. Football is ever evolving even when you don’t expect it.

“I personally thrive off the challenge and love leading this football club. I hope to see you there Saturday with your Christmas jumpers on, supporting this great group of players and making noise as we search for another important three points on OUR journey. We’re unique and remain the envy of club’s right across the region. We have earned the right to be proud and will always aim to set the standards for others to aspire to.”