Hands-off, warns Ford as he looks to maintain progress

Banbury United boss Mike Ford has issued a hands-off warning to other managers
Banbury United boss Mike Ford has issued a hands-off warning to other managers
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Hands-off, that’s the warning from Banbury United boss Mike Ford.

The Puritans are catching the eye with the way they’ve adapted to life back in the top division of the Evo-Stik Southern League.

Other clubs have seen what we’re doing and are trying to cherry-pick our best players

Puritans boss Mike Ford

But the flip side is that other clubs are starting to show an interest in United’s best players. And it’s the way some managers are going about it which is concerning Ford.

Then Puritans boss said: “We’re building a good foundation down here, on and off the pitch, in order for the club to move forward. Other clubs have seen what we’re doing and are trying to cherry-pick our best players.

“We don’t want to lose our best players so we’ve got to make sure we try and keep them. But I’m annoyed with the way some clubs are approaching our players.

“We put in a seven-day approach for a player at one club and they responded by putting one in for one of our players. I think that was them just trying to bully us and it won’t work.

“Another manager tried to contact one of my players through social media to see if he was on a contract and that manager already has my number!”

Competition for places is hot and some players are finding themselves having to bide their time to get back into the team. Those players will naturally attract attention from clubs as well as those making the headlines on the pitch.

With the Puritans handily placed in sixth position in the premier division, Ford will be looking to hit the ground running when his side return to action with two games in four days.

Following Saturday’s long trip to King’s Lynn Town, United return to the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium three days later to entertain Dunstable Town.

Last weekend’s enforced lay-off due to Chesham United’s involvement in the Buildase FA Trophy didn’t bother Ford too much despite his side being on a good run. He wanted his players to come back fresh from the break and they only resumed training on Tuesday.

Ford said: “We’ve been very organised, solid at the back and created opportunities in our last three games. Now we need to take that into the next two games and keep this good run going.”