Player shortage hits Ilford

PUBLISHED: 14:54 03 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:54 03 March 2015

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Ilford manager Allan Fenn (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Nine players missed Eton Manor clash

Ilford boss Allan Fenn says a lack of players hindered his side in their 2-2 draw with Eton Manor.

The Foxes were missing nine players for their Essex Senior League clash with The Braves.

And Fenn believes the large number of absentees affected Ilford’s chances of victory.

“We had three midfielders pull out on the morning of the game, and that hurt us,” said Fenn.

“We changed the shape and I had two 17-year-olds starting and another two on the bench. It was too late to sign anyone for the day.

“With injury and suspension as well, we were really struggling. It’s disappointing because we want to improve on the pitch.

“We went 2-0 up but we weren’t complacent, we just didn’t have the quality to hold on to the lead.”

The result leaves Ilford in 10th in the table with 40 points from 28 games.

Despite already beating last season’s points tally, Fenn says there are still goals to aim for.

“Our first aim was to win more league games than last season, which we acheived by Novemeber. The club is also now in a healthier position both on and off the pitch,” he added.

“We’re looking to introduce more players from the reserve side and give them experience and we’re looking at having an academy for the first time in years.

“The aim for next season is to have a team ready. Last year I had to advertise for players on Twitter. We’ll have at least 10 players with us this year for the start of pre-season.”

And Fenn is confident his options can be bolstered further by more youngsters.

“We had a load of under-18 players join our reserves and they’re second in the league. They’re playing against experienced, ex-semi-professionals.

“We’ve picked a few players from the reserves already to play with the first team. Wherever I’ve managed, I’ve always tried to promote youth.

“We try to give them experience and good coaching. To their credit, they’ve stepped up.”

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