I caught up with Paul this morning, writes Dave Farebrother, at the end of what has been a very busy week. The first point he wanted to make was around the apparent delay in announcing Richard Jolly's loan spell to Wealdstone.
"People have to realise it's a rapidly changing world in terms of communications. Jols is a big user of Twitter and obviously he was able to post his news as soon as knew it was definitely going to happen, but the club quite rightly waits until everything is actually confirmed and we didn't get the paperwork back from Wealdstone until around 9pm. I was out of contact at the training ground and wanted to be able to explain our rationale for this move. Richard is a great lad, he fits in well with the other players, has a good attitude and works hard on the pitch. Unfortunately it just hasn't been going for him in front of goal. The match at Horsham sums it up, after he came on for the last 25 minutes or so he had three chances, none of them tap-ins but all chances he would expect to take; but they didn't go in. Gordon Bartlett asked if he might be available and we gave it a lot of thought before saying yes. Richard needs a change of luck and hopefully that might come with a change of surroundings, particularly as he knows the set-up at Wealdstone quite well. Richard needs time on the pitch and they have a busy month ahead so it could be a good move for all parties and I'm hoping he will hit a few goals there and return to us in top form for the business end of the season.
Obviously Richard going out on loan leaves us a little short of numbers and I've been working very hard to bring in another forward and have followed three or four lines of enquiry. Nothing is settled yet but I'm hoping to tie up a deal early next week, possibly a loan arrangement, for an experienced player. I hope people don't underestimate how time consuming it can be to put deals in place and, of course, at the same we have been trying to ensure Andy Forbes is still available to us. The managerial changes at Woking couldn't have come at a worse time for us in that respect but after what seems like a million phone calls I am delighted to confirm that Andy is now with us on a permanent basis. Andy is enjoying it here and wanted to join so, again, everyone is happy.
Another piece of good news is that Alan Bray is almost back to fitness and should play for the reserves next weekend against Eastleigh and after that could be ready to come back into the first team squad, which will be like making a new signing as he has been sidelined for so long. With Darren Ebsworth also in the mix we had three quality left-backs and so we have released Ronayne Marsh-Brown. Ronnie is a top class defender but his spell here has coincided with the bad weather and he never really got the chance for a settled run in the side, so we probably haven't seen the best of him. We of course wish him well at his next club and thank him for his efforts here.
The other piece of business concluded this week was signing Tommy Kavanagh on contract, which I believe will again be a good thing for both Tommy and the club.
Tomorrow we travel to Bury Town, the first time the two clubs have ever met, and it's a game the players and I are all looking forward to. It's big game, no doubt of that, against another club very much in the shake-up but no matter what the result it is important to keep a perspective, titles aren't won and lost over one game in January. We haven't played at our best of late but we are still in a strong position and now have to push on to try and secure our place in the play-offs and, hopefully, keep our title hopes alive to the very end. I read with interest some comments about the strength of this league. Don't forget results in the FA Trophy such as Harrow winning at Eastbourne and Carshalton at Braintree, both by convincing margins. There are lots of good sides in this division, anyone can beat anyone else and at least a dozen sides will still have their eyes on the play-offs, if not the title. We said back in the summer that nobody would run away with the division this season and so it is proving.
I hope to see as many as possible of you at Bury tomorrow and hope we can put on a good performance for you all."