Bloods boss Wardley confident of league safety

PUBLISHED: 11:13 03 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:13 03 March 2016

Player-manager Stuart Wardley clears for Saffron Walden Town

Player-manager Stuart Wardley clears for Saffron Walden Town

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With Stuart Wardley talking confidently about Thurlow Nunn Premier Division safety after a fifth straight home win last Saturday, this time against bottom club Whitton United, the player-manager is hoping to blood some new Bloods in the near future.

James Thomas struck twice and Craig Calver also netted as Walden moved up to ninth.

However, the performance of young right-back Charlie Dicker, a recent addition to the senior ranks from the U18s setup, left the player-manager encouraged that there is a new generation of Saffron stars ready to replace him and the club’s other grizzled veterans when the time comes.

Wardley told the Reporter: “We were a little bit short at the back with Spike Bell picking up an injury and Paul Abbott moving to left-back so we called on Charlie and he was first-class.

“I said to Neil [Andrews] that we should give him a chance because I think there’s something about him.

“If you’re good enough, then you’re going to play. I can see him being a regular in the first team for years to come and hopefully they’ll be a few more coming through soon.

“Charlie’s brother, Jamie, is an exceptional player and is looking good as a centre-half while Jake Thompson and Jordan Carter, in the U18s, also have great potential and could step in if required.”

The youth may be impressing but the first team are also excelling at present.

When Walden last encountered Whitton in the league, at the beginning of November, the Catons Lane outfit were rock bottom.

Since a 3-1 victory that day, Town have claimed eight wins from 14 league outings to lift them up the table and Wardley says hard work has been key.

He continued: “It’s been a great turnaround and obviously all credit goes to the boys. They’ve put the time in.

“At one stage it looked like we’d be in a relegation fight and we were struggling to put a couple of wins together but we’ve turned a corner and now we’re in the top half of the table which is amazing considering where we just a few months ago.”

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