Two midfielders on the way to Ilford to boost boss Colin Walton’s side

Two midfielders set to join, while AJ Olantunbosun is on his way to Ryman Premier side Aveley

Ilford boss Colin Walton hopes to strengthen his squad with two new midfield players, but revealed defender AJ Olatunbosun is set to leave Cricklefield.

Olatunbosun turned down an approach from league rivals Redbridge last week – the third club to make a seven-day approach for the central defender.

But now former Bethnal Green United boss Justin Gardner has taken charge at Ryman Premier League strugglers Aveley, the ex-Greens defender looks set to follow his old boss to Mill Field.

Walton is content with the number of defensive options at his disposal, even if Olatunbosun departs, but feels the squad lacks depth in the centre of midfield.

“AJ looks like he’s finally on his way,” conceded Walton. “Aveley have put in an approach, so I think he may go and see out the season in the division above.

“We’ve got a number of new players training with us that are not signed. We’re flush with defenders and forwards, Rob Carter has really hit form and we’re inundated with wingers.

Most Read

“It’s just the centre of midfield we’re looking at. We’d like to have four or five players and at the moment we only have three.

“Since we’ve switched from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 it means if we get an injury we have to pull people out of position, so that’s not ideal.”

On the pitch, Ilford recorded their third league win of the season on Saturday – beating Waltham Abbey 3-2.

Rob Carter netted twice and Loui Hazlewood got the third, but own goals from Olatunbosun and Leon Smith made the result closer than it might have been.

“The scoreline suggests the game was closer than it appeared,” said Walton. “Rob Carter played very well as did Loui Hazlewood.

“I’m very happy, it was well deserved and I’m even happier Great Wakering beat Ware (2-0) on Tuesday night, because we didn’t want anyone to pull away from us.

“It will be a blanket finish.”

Ilford entertained Romford last night (Wednesday) in a rearranged game due to the recent poor weather and the Foxes travel to high-flying Needham Market on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Rob Budd will be unavailable, but Daniel Adeoye is back after a recent trial spell in Thailand.

Recent acquisitions Jaden Francis and Neil Owusu could feature.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter