The West Midlands Regional League
Published 25th July 2011
.....Darby could prove a surprise star of his defence.
Veteran former England semi-professional international Darby made his name as a striker during a professional career which took in trips to Torquay United, Hull City and Russhden & Diamonds among others.
But after watching the 37-year-old form a solid central defensive partnership with Josh Skidmore during last week’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Redditch United, Daniels says he can be Cradley’s answer to Dion Dublin and prove just as adept at stopping goals as scoring them.
Daniels said: “We will see what happens but on the evidence of Tuesday it’s definitely something we will have to look at.
“I thought he and Josh did excellently against what is a pretty good Redditch forward line.
“I don’t think you will come up against a tougher backline in our league.
“There is no doubt we have some decent players and for the first hour you would never have guessed Redditch play three divisions above us.
“Our application was quite good, it was only in the final half-an-hour when we made changes that they took control.”
Daniels was also delighted with the return of striker Stanfield Hepburn from a lengthy injury lay-off, who he described as a “real handful.”
Cradley were without a fixture at the weekend but host Burton Albion at Beeches View on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Daniels has apologised for causing offence to Tividale boss Dean Whitehouse with recent comments made over playing budgets.
Daniels said he would have found the West Midlands Premier a “cakewalk” if given Tividale’s budget last season, when Whitehouse guided them to a West Midlands League and cup `double`.
This prompted a retort from Whitehouse, who questioned Cradley’s own budget and asked if players were being paid in “fairy cakes?”
Daniels said: “I was not having a pop at Tividale. The point I was trying to get across was that if I had their budget I believe I would win the league - that’s all I was trying to say.
“I did not mean any disrespect towards Dean, I think he did an excellent job and I was one of the first to send them a text congratulating them when they won the league.”