Walker: New signings give Town much-needed strength in depth

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Paul Davis and Steve Walker. Photo: Steve Wood

FOOTBALL

STRATFORD Town have bolstered their ranks ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Hednesford Town with the acquisition of three new players.

The day after the Herald went to press last week, Town announced that they had signed young midfielder Tom Mehew on a month’s loan from League One outfit Bristol Rovers.

The 19-year-old is the youngest son of former Rovers player Dave Mehew and enjoyed a fantastic 2018/19 campaign culminating in being named player of the year for the U18s.

His impressive performances also saw Mehew make appearances for Rovers’ development side as well as securing a loan spell at Southern League Division One South outfit Frome Town.

The second new face through the doors at the Arden Garages Stadium is another young midfielder in Shiloh Remy, who has arrived on a work experience loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

Remy, who turns 19 on 28th December, featured regularly for Rangers’ U18s side over the past two seasons and is now a member of the U23 squad.

Remy signed for the Loftus Road side from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2013.

He is the second Rangers player on a work experience loan at Town, with defender Kai Woollard-Innocent already making a name for himself in Paul Davis’s team which lies 18th in the Southern Premier Central standings.

Town have also captured the services of pacy winger Javia Roberts from Midland League Premier Division high-fliers Walsall Wood.

The 25-year-old had initially joined Town’s league rivals Alvechurch in June from Walsall Wood. Roberts moved back to Wood last month, but has now been snapped up by Davis.

The highly-rated winger was originally with League One side Shrewsbury Town and has also been on the books at Solihull Moors, Rushall Olympic, Hinckley AFC, Bedford Town and Market Drayton Town.

“These three new signings bring much-needed strength in depth in key areas,” head coach Steve Walker told the Herald.

“With Ross Oulton still sidelined, having two midfielders coming in gives us some options.

“Obviously we lost Ravi Shamsi so that left us short on the wing and having someone like Javia in the squad fills that void.

“Javia is what I’d call a ‘proper’ winger and I expect him to be working hard to stake a claim for a place this weekend.

“With plenty of games coming up over the Christmas period, the new signings give us plenty of cover too.”

All three signings are expected to be part of the squad which makes the trip to Hednesford Town on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season, with the Pitmen edging out Town 2-1 in the first meeting in the FA Trophy at the end of October before Davis’s men avenged that defeat three weeks later by running out 4-1 winners at the Arden Garages Stadium in the league.

Town go into the Hednesford clash fresher than expected after last Saturday’s home game against Hitchin Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

With no competitive action, the Town squad were given the day off, as boss Davis went out scouting a potential new recruit while Walker went to watch Banbury United’s 1-1 draw at Coalville Town ahead of the Boxing Day clash at the Puritans.

“We’ve played Hednesford a couple of times already so we know what they’re all about and what to expect,” said Walker.

“The Trophy game was a tight affair and I felt we deserved more from the game, but we then comprehensively beat them in the league.

“We know on our day we can be a match for anyone and it’ll be tough for us once again on Saturday.

“It was frustrating to not have a game on Saturday as we wanted to carry on from the good performance we put in against Bromsgrove – another game where we felt we deserved something.

“We gave the lads Saturday off, but they will be working hard in training this week so that they’re fully prepared.

“We can take confidence from the 4-1 win over Hednesford and hopefully we can try and get a similar result, but the most important thing is that we don’t lose.”

Meanwhile, defender Will Davidson has returned to Town following a four-month spell with Southern League Division One South side Highworth Town.

Davidson was part of Town’s pre-season squad before departing for the Worthians in August.