HELLENIC LEAGUE: Pethick pays tribute to McCrae

Swindon Advertiser: Chris Pethick Chris Pethick

PURTON manager Chris Pethick fears Nick McCrae’s return to football will ultimately prove shortlived due to injury.

Following more than a year out with a knee problem, McCrae scored on his comeback in the 7-0 thumping of Letcombe in October and has been a regular fixture in the side since.

However, another injury to the same knee has left the centre-half considering stepping back from Hellenic League Division One West action.

And Pethick said: “Nick is out injured and I think he might have hung his boots up for good now, from what he’s been saying.

“That would be a great shame because he’s been a great player and a great servant over the years.

“He’s had to take a lot of time off work due to injuries and as he’s self-employed he can’t really afford to do that, so I don’t blame him for knocking it on the head.

“We’re really going to miss him as he’s a brilliant player and a lovely lad, but he’s going to help out with coaching and will be there on matchdays, so hopefully he can pass his experience on.”

Purton have new signing Devon Brown on board after the keeper came in from Newbury, as Pethick moved to plug the gap vacated by Gary Stevens, who switched to Highworth.

Brown could make his debut in tomorrow’s game at Tuffley - weather permitting - which will be good news for centre-midfielder Johnny Cowley who is now able to fully focus on playing outfield.

“Devon’s has been out injured with a thumb problem which is why Johnny Cowley played in goal against Tytherington,” explained Pethick.

“We needed to act quickly after Gary Stevens moved on to Highworth and getting Devon on board gives us a bit more security.

“Johnny will always do us a favour every now and then, but I know he wants to get his fitness up and get back out on the centre of the pitch.

“I’m hoping the Tuffley game will be on. We didn’t play the other day (against New College on Monday) and the weather forecast isn’t looking brilliant, although it’s not as bad as it could have been.

“I don’t know what their pitch is like, but I know they played against Shortwood reserves (yesterday) so that won’t ruin it.”

Elsewhere in the division tomorrow, Malmesbury are scheduled to make the trip to Lydney, who like Vics have experienced waterlogging problems of late.


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