Mann boost for Bees ranks


BRIDPORT FC have signed Elliot Mann from Sherborne Town as manager Adam Fricker look to kick start the Bees’ season writes Stuart Broom.

The former Chard boss announced that he was looking to add new faces to his squad following the 5-0 trouncing by Chipping Sodbury that leaves them fourth bottom in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division with just seven points from 11 games. They were also dumped out of the FA Cup and Vase at the first hurdle.

Mann is believed to be the first of at least three new faces set to join the club in the next few days. The 19-year-old signed after the club’s training session last Thursday is likely to make his debut on Saturday when the Bees travel to Hallen. Mann will help boost the lack of top level Western League experience in the team as well as firepower, having scored 13 times in 37 appearances for the Zebras last term.

Assistant manager Jason Behan said: “Elliot is a tidy player who can score goals, and will be a very useful addition.” Talking about the difficult start he said: “Because we have had lots of niggling injuries and unavailability it has been difficult period, and several of the Chard lads that have joined us have had to step up a league. It’s unfortunate because they could benefit from bedding in a bit longer.”

Impressed by the number of young players coming through the ranks, Behan said it was not the best time to introduce them. “The club have a really good crop coming through, but it’s difficult to bring young players into a side which is at present struggling results wise. “I also think we have had a very difficult start to the campaign, playing a lot of the better sides, and sometimes not getting the breaks.

He also admitted he and Fricker were both on a learning curve: “Adam and I are also at a bit of a disadvantage in that we have no experience of the sides in this league, so we don’t have any history on how they set up.” He is however encouraged by the return of Ryan Hayter who successfully came through Saturday’s reserve match. “Ryan’s return to fitness is a huge boost. His experience and leadership has been missed and we hope that he will help us get back on track. “We have got quite a few nice footballers, but we don’t have much physicality and the presence of Ryan and Louis Rutter will help that.”

Apart from George Chlopecki who has had a reoccurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for much of last season, Behan is hopeful that they will have a full squad to pick from this weekend. Midfielder Andy Martin who dislocated his shoulder three weeks ago resumed training last night, although Behan is unsure whether he will be fit to start.

Sports Editor | Covering the whole of the Pulman’s/View From group of titles.
Howard has been covering sport in the East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset region since 2007.