The North West Counties Football League
Published 3rd July 2012
.....keep together most of last season’s squad.
Blues’ new boss met his players for the first time last week after replacing Ian Street as manager, with more than twenty taking part in a first pre-season practice at Knights Grange.
“It’s a good base that Ian has left,” said Morrison.
“Like every manager, it’s inevitable that he’ll want to take one or two players with him but I’m hoping to keep a core here that is used to playing together.
“I’ll want to bring in signings of my own, but I don’t think there’s a need to make wholesale changes if it can be avoided.”
Morrison believes keeping Kevin Bircumshaw at the club as his right hand man could be crucial in keeping the group intact.
He said: “Kevin can be a big help to me.
“His knowledge of the team gives me a head start, which I’m grateful for. The lads know and like him, so I’m hoping we can move forward from that point.”
He told the Winsford Guardian last week that midfielder Adam Foy would be one of those staying at Barton Stadium.
An eighteen-strong squad is Morrison’s ideal number to work with.
“From our games against Winsford last year it was obvious there was a strong spine,” said the former Flixton boss.
“However what probably cost them a place higher up the table come the end of the season is a lack of strength in depth.
“When the pool is small, then suspensions and injuries really hit the side hard.”
Morrison, who guided Styal to a first ever Cheshire League title as player manager in 2008, says his three-years spell at Valley Road is time enough to work out what it takes to succeed in the North West Counties League.
“Speed and power,” he said.
“Teams who have an athletic feel tend to do better.
“I think it’s important to have versatility too; when squad sizes are smaller, then being able to pick a player who is comfortable in more than one position is important.
One man he hopes to get the best out of is front runner Andy Hurst. The former Congleton Town striker struggled for form at times last term, but Morrison feels Blues fans can expect better from him in the campaign ahead.
“I’ve known Andy since he was a teenager,” he said.
“He is capable of scoring goals at this level.”