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Western League hopes for better luck

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 01, 2012

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After last weekend's total wash-out in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, its Devon-based clubs are hoping that the recent better weather will allow them to resume the pursuit of points this afternoon.

Mid-table Buckland Athletic face a trip to Somerset to take on Street, while Ilfracombe Town, who are one rung above the Newton Abbot side in the standings, go to Bristol to tackle Cadbury Heath.

The only Premier Division game due to take place in Devon today is at Mill Road, where Barnstaple Town are at home to Radstock Town.

Barnstaple are at the bottom of the division, three points adrift of Willand Rovers, who can close the gap behind third-from-bottom Wells City to one point if they can beat the Somerset side at their Athletic Ground home this afternoon.

Willand manager Clive Jones is looking to sign four players in a bid to boost Rovers' survival prospects. The Silver Street boss has said that he is hoping to sign a centre-half, two midfielders and a striker.

"I'm not knocking the players we've got but we need something," Jones said. "I'm in trouble as a manager because I'm failing.

"We have no divine right to make players play for Willand, and I realise that. We can't lure them with money.

"I usually lure them with my sweet-talking rubbish, but we are near the bottom of the league and it's harder to sign players," Jones added. "But I'm not going to stop trying.

"Everyone knows we need to freshen things up and I'm talking to four players," said Jones, who admitted he is finding it increasingly difficult to sign new recruits because so many are reluctant to travel long distances for matches.

"There are a lot of good players in the lower leagues that are not prepared to do the travelling," he added. "They are prepared to tell you that they are good enough in the pub when they've had a beer. But, when you ask them to come and play, they don't want to leave their mates and they are happy to carry on playing in the lower leagues.

"It was summed it up last weekend when we travelled to the other side of Portsmouth for our FA Vase game [against Horndean] and we only took two substitutes because two of my players said they couldn't make it.

"I don't mean to be rude, but that isn't good enough. I can't make people do it [the travelling], but that is what I expect. But this is for me to solve – I've had good local players for a long time and now I need some more."

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