Tamworth pair join the Heggs revolution
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn chief Carl Heggs is challenging ex-Premiership starlet Matt Birley to force his way back into the professional ranks. The 22-year-old former Birmingham City midfielder yesterday became the latest player to join Heggs' revolution at the Unibond Premier outfit.
King's Lynn chief Carl Heggs is challenging ex-Premiership starlet Matt Birley to force his way back into the professional ranks.
The 22-year-old former Birmingham City midfielder yesterday became the latest player to join Heggs' revolution at the Unibond Premier outfit.
Birley and fellow Conference North title-winning defender Craig McAughtrie were both part of Tamworth's successful squad last season alongside recent Lambs' hitman and Lynn-bound Gareth Sheldon.
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Heggs confirmed McAughtrie will be his new club captain - with young team mate Birley the final piece of his midfield jigsaw in tandem with Callum Lloyd and assistant player/boss Andy Johnson.
Birley made three first team appearances for the Blues in 2005 before spells at Lincoln and Bournemouth. The Bromsgrove-born player went on to join his hometown club before playing a part in Tamworth's title charge.
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“I've told him it's an opportunity that might not come around again,” said Heggs. “He had Worcester and Solihull Moors both interested but he can get his career back on track at an ambitious club that is going places. Matty has a great pedigree but when you are released as a 20 or 21 year old it does come as a major shock. You start to question whether you have a future in the game or whether you should jack it in and get a job. He had to dust himself down and come again.
“On reflection, Bromsgrove was probably the wrong move for him but he is a quality lad who can play anywhere across midfield - so we haven't just signed one player. I see him on the left of a three with Callum and Andy Johnson.”
Centre back McAughtrie turned down overtures from Conference North duo Eastwood and Harrogate in favour of a reunion with his ex-Carlisle team mate.
“We go way back,” said Heggs. “He played at Carlisle as a lad but he's 28 now so he's an ideal age. We're not talking about a 35 year old player with nothing more to give looking for a year somewhere. He's done the business in Conference North and to bring him into the Unibond is a great signing.
“We need that solid type of player in a key position. Clubs will come to our place looking to intimidate us. I know that because we did it to other sides when I was at Redditch. We didn't have the quality of player to match them so we tried to box sides into areas high up the pitch, put pressure on and get teams turned. Now we have to be prepared for teams to do that to us and make our quality count. Gareth and Matty can both put their foot in when it matters. Craig is 6ft 4in, a policeman by trade, and he can handle the physical side but he also has those leadership qualities.”
Heggs is now targeting a Telford-based left back to complete the first phase of his squad makeover.
“He is a proper player who will give you seven out of ten each week,” said Heggs. “I've worked with him before but he has a decision to make with the travel. Things are taking shape nicely now. We've got Shelly up front, Craig in defence, a keeper who I think will turn out to be a great signing and Andy in midfield who might be the oldest player we have but still has a lot to offer.”
t A group of King's Lynn fans have voted to create a supporters' trust following an open meeting at the football club.
The motion to form a supporters' trust was unanimously passed after presentations from Supporters Direct and representatives of supporters' trusts from Norwich City and Cambridge United.