After acquiring five inspired signings on deadline day, Steven Cunningham believes Colne are now in a position to challenge for the NWCFL title.
After Tony Aghayere, Josh Heaton, Ben Wharton, Dean Stott and Adam Morning entered the fold at the XLCR Stadium, the side’s quality has been bolstered, and there is now real competition for every position on the team sheet.
Cunningham has had his critics after the signings, with many outsiders stating that he has ‘broken the bank’ to push for the title.
However in a joyous mood, Cunningham has told the official club website, that despite signing five of the best players in the Non-League game, he has not had to touch a penny…as he has thanked the clubs board and the players for making the signings possible.
“Deadline day was a big statement for our club that we want to compete in this league. I know a lot of people are saying that we are favourites now and I’ve had my critics for apparently splashing the cash but none of the doubters know the facts.
“We’ve dropped points against Linnets, Colls and 1874 this season so it was imperative that I strengthened so that we weren’t left behind.”
Cunningham added; “With the signings, I’ve had to use my contacts and people don’t give me credit for that. I’ve pulled a few strings but I’ve not touched a penny of my budget and the club are definitely not in a poor financial position because of my signings.”
Raving about the experience and talent that the new faces in his squad possess, the Reds boss can’t wait for the side to take the field of play.
“I’d like to thank all my players as they all donated some of their expenses to make these signings possible. If we were mid-table then these moves wouldn’t have been possible. However, we are playing good football, we’ve got great fans and we’re fight for the title. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
Arguably the clubs news faces could walk into any Evo-Stik side in the country, with Stott, Morning and Wharton recently plying their trade in the higher echelons of the sixth and seventh tier.
Messrs Heaton and Aghayere also have a reputation for being the hottest prospects in Lancashire, and with competition for places all over the field, the Reds manager is under no illusions that his squad is now covered, if injuries or suspensions do occur.
Some may question Cunningham’s loyalty, as ofcourse five new signings will mean that five members of the regular starting 11 will need to make their onto the substitute’s bench.
Nevertheless, Cunningham has branded this statement as ridiculous, as he continued by explaining that all of his squad will get an equal chance to shine between now and the end of the season.
“All of my players have the same ambition as me, and that is to be playing Evo-Stik North football next season. Last week we had three substitutes on the bench, two were injured and one was me. Doesn’t that just show that it was imperative that we needed to make signings?
“The current squad have been brilliant this season and last, however we’ve fell short against our promotion rivals this season, and I believe I’ve now given the club the best possible chance to compete.”
Adding; “Colne FC are now a huge threat to those sides that believe they have a God given right to win the league this season.”