One in, one out as Tigers turn to youth

Ross Henshaw, pictured playing for Worksop Town, has made the switch to Shirebrook
Ross Henshaw, pictured playing for Worksop Town, has made the switch to Shirebrook

Worksop Town caretaker manager Jon Kennedy says more of the club’s young players could make the step up to the first team squad.

Cuts to the budgets have seen several experienced players leave Sandy Lane in recent weeks - and that list has grown again with the departure of defender Ross Henshaw to NCEL Division One side Shirebrook Town.

Tigers were quick to move for a replacement, announcing under-21s defender Liam Arnold had signed first team forms. And Kennedy is continuing to carry out his homework on the rest of the club’s emerging talents.

“With the budget being cut we’ve had to look at the other teams within the club to see if players could be promoted to the first team,” said Kennedy. “Liam’s one of them to come up through the ranks and join in.

“Nev Hunt, the under-21s manager, recommended he made that step. There could be others who make that move up the ladder too. I’m doing my homework to see if there are some more that could, if we needed them.

“We’ve got to make sure the funds are available for next season. We need to hit that fine line of turning in good performances for the paying public but not over-spending, across all areas of the club.”

Henshaw had been with Tigers for almost two years after joining the club in early 2015 from Heanor Town. He slotted in straight away and made an immediate impact as the team kept three consecutive clean sheets.

“There’s no ill-feeling there,” said Kennedy. “A lot of the lads have taken a cut to stay but if another club comes in and offers them more money then that’s part and parcel of the game.

“Ross is a very good player. He’s got all the credentials to play higher. He was a very good servant to this club. Generally, any good form we had he was part of the defensive team.”

With no game on Saturday, Worksop had a weekend free from action to prepare for this coming Saturday’s (January 14) home match with second-placed Pickering Town.

In-form Pickering extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions on Saturday with a 5-0 win over NCEL Premier basement side Barton Town Old Boys.

The Pikes, under Paul Marshall, have the meanest defence in the division, conceding just 20 from their 24 league games to date. They’ve also scored 65.

But Tigers - who have won four from six since Kennedy took on the reigns with assistant Craig Denton - overcame the Pikes 2-0 in the reverse fixture in August.

“They were a very good side when we played them on the opening day of the season,” said Kennedy. “That showed the potential of the side we had because we beat them.

“I think they went on a run where they were undefeated after that so it’s no surprise to see them up there at that end of the table. There’s nothing to fear for us.

“There’s no pressure on our lads because no-one will expect us to win. Had we a full strength side there would have been more of an expectation.

“Fans probably are more understanding of the circumstances and taking the rough with the smooth. We’re still going out there to win, as we do in every game.”