Hares nail down Hammers coach

March Town United have added a West Ham Girls Academy coach as they prepare for Saturday’s Thurlow Nunn Division One trip to 16th place Long Melford.

Paul Blanchflower, who is based in the town and whose teenage son Ash plays for the Reserves, is a UEFA B coach who will help James Bradshaw manage the Reserves while taking Thursday first team coaching as well.

Hares manager Paul Crosbie said: “We spoke to Paul and he was very interested in pre-season but he couldn’t commit. He can manage one session with us and one with West Ham. He will also help out James, who has done an admirable job.”

Skipper Luke Pepper is due to miss the Long Melford game after tweaking his knee in training, while fellow midfielder Lewis Thompson is set to make his first senior team start after coming back from a knee problem while waiting for an operation.

Crosbie said: “It will be good to have Lewis back after training for the last couple of weeks and 90 minutes for the Reserves.

“A midfield trio of Luke, Lewis and Scott Welcher will be a good one to have.

“Lewis had no reaction to the game for the Reserves and we have managed and cajoled him. We’ve asked him to be honest about how his body is and we trust him.”

Long Melford are four places and eight points behind March Town, and Crosbie added: “We have not played Long Melford yet this season and we will play them twice in three weeks.

“They have been struggling this year and we should have enough to beat most sides in the league.”

In the absence of football the side have had three sessions this week: last Wednesday, training on Saturday morning after the away game at Whitton United was postponed and an aerobic session at nearby Doddington.

The Whitton game postponed on Saturday has been rearranged for Saturday, April 6.