SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Purnell hoping for Chippenham form

Harley Purnell in action

Harley Purnell in action

First published in Sport

HARLEY Purnell is banking on a run of good form to be the glue that knits together Mark Collier’s Chippenham Town squad in the coming weeks.

The former Yate Town man finds himself playing under his third manager of the season and says that it is taking some time to get used to the influx of new players since Collier’s arrival last November.

Purnell’s close friend Tom Knighton left the club last week and, while admitting that he was disappointed to see the striker shown the door, the Bluebirds midfielder-turned-defender is looking forward to his seeing his side push on in the Calor League Southern Premier Division.

“We have a bit of banter amongst the Bristol boys that if you’re from Bristol, you’re knackered,” said Purnell.

“We used to be the majority but now it’s the lads from Swindon. A lot of them have been brought in by the manager and a lot of them are pretty quiet but I think that as soon as we start winning games, they’ll perk up.

“For a lot of us that have been here most of the season, we just want to fight for our shirts. “It’s still the same club and there are still some big characters here that keep spirits high, like Ben John and Alan Griffin.

“I was a bit gutted to see Tom go because I’ve played with him at every club I’ve been at and I think that he’s a good goalscorer but you’ve got to accept the manager’s decisions and move on – we’ll see if he’s proved right.

Despite previously plying his trade in the heart of midfield, the biggest change for Purnell under boss Collier has been his switch to right-back. The Chippenham man has become the Hardenhuish Park chief’s go-to-guy for the right flank of his defence and Purnell says that he is getting used to his new role in the Bluebirds line-up.

He said: “I’d played there a few times at Mangotsfield and Yate and I think that I’ve been doing all right.

“There’s so much competition in the centre of midfield now and I don’t know if the manager is planning on bringing in another right-back but it’s been giving me the best chance of playing and I’m getting used to it.”

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