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LONGLEVENS AFC NEWS

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Is An FA Cup Upset On The Cards? - 18 August

Longlevens will be looking to cause an Emirates FA Cup upset at Hanwell Town tomorrow, writes Jon Palmer in the Gloucester Echo.

They go into the preliminary round tie against the Southern League Division One Central side in buoyant mood after a thumping 6-2 league win at Fairford Town on Wednesday night. Boss Mark Moore named an attacking line-up, with Brad Martin, Brad Vanstone and Jay Kennedy all being picked.

“It was a good performance after a sloppy start,” Moore said.“We really came out of the blocks in the second half and Brad took his chance. He has come off the bench for the last couple of weeks and did well. We are going into Saturday really happy which gives us a break from league duties and we have nothing to lose for us as we will be the underdogs."

Wednesday also marked the return of defender Ellis Sausman from a serious knee injury.“It was nice to be able to give Ellis 10 minutes at the end,” Moore added.

Saturday will be Longlevens' fourth ever FA Cup tie. They defeated Fairford after a replay at the extra preliminary round stage.

Last year, they progressed against Bedfont and Feltham before bowing out to Farnborough.

 

Sausman Returns After A Season Out - 10 August

ellis sausman hellenic leagueRoll back to Saturday 6th August 2016, this was a very significant day in the history of Longlevens AFC. Having rose up through the ranks of local football, they were about to compete in The Emirates FA Cup for the very first time.

For one man in particular it was another day to remember, but for all the wrong reasons as inside one minute defender Ellis Sausman sustained a knee ligament injury which would keep him out for the entire season.  "At first I really didn't think it was as bad as it turned out to be to be honest." said Sausman, "So I was a bit surprised/gutted when the surgeon told me how bad it was and that I most likely won't be back until spring 2018"

Sausman whose made a name for himself as being one of the physically strongest members of the side reflected on his long journey back to fitness.  "The road to recovery was weird at first because my left leg pretty much turned into a stick. Then it was really good for 3-4 months after as there were daily improvements so I could see all the rehab paying off. Past that it was just frustrating as I could run about and do plenty in the gym but not play. I feel great at the moment as I've been doing a lot of work away from football to help, so hopefully it all goes well.

Sausman was a regular member of the championship winning side that rose towards the Hellenic League Premier and after missing the entire season is keen to get back involved having been given the green light to play last Monday.  "Im very excited to be back. Not just to playing football but to be more involved with the lads. They've been great but it really isn't the same if you can't play in my opinion, if i had to say I'm worried about anything it would probably be about getting some sort of touch back as it's been a long time away"

Longlevens manager Mark Moore said "Its great to have someone of not only his quality, but also his stature back around the club. There was a hole left in a very settled back four when he was injured last season so its like a new signing to us really. It certainly gives us more to think about" 

Sausman spoke about his aims for the forthcoming season now he is fit to play. "This season I just want to get back into the team and playing regularly, with no injuries!"

Sausman is included in the Longlevens squad which host Brackley Town Saints this Saturday 12th August, Saw Mills,3pm kick off. 

 

shaun o'connor hellenic leagueO'Connor Latest To Commit At Levens - 25 July

Having attracted interest from Evo-Stik Southern South-West club Shortwood United in the summer, Shaun O'Connor has committed to Longlevens for the forthcoming season.

O'Connor has scored three goals in pre season so far and is raring to go ahead of Leven's season opener against Brimscombe and Thrupp on Wednesday 2 August.  He commented. "The main reason I didn't contemplate leaving Longlevens this season is the camaraderie  between the lads. For me especially between myself, Ed Smyllie and Adam Hughes who have been friends for many years aswell as the many friendships I have forged in the last few years. Of course it's always nice to be noticed by teams in higher leagues, but my head was never turned and I was always committed playing for Mark Moore and signing on with Longlevens"

O'Connor, who was nominated as last seasons Players Player of the Year, is hoping to build on the successes that he and the side have had in previous years. "This year I hope to perform well for Mark and am sure he will get the best out of the players at his disposal, personally me and Brad Martin always have a healthy competition for top scorer at the club and ideally we'll both be pushing the 30 goal mark, but most importantly I hope the team can improve on last season in the league and have some good cup runs."

 

mark moore dave merrick longlevens 13 july 17 hellenic league footballMerrick Stays Put - 13 July

Midfielder Dave Merrick has committed his future to Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League side Longlevens AFC for the forthcoming season despite rumours that he may have been on his way to a Southern League side.

Manager Mark Moore was keen to get Merrick's signature early into the clubs pre season preparation after he had finished the previous season playing for Slimbridge in the league above. "I enjoyed the games for Slimbridge at the end of last season and hope they have a good campaign. However it was an easy decision to sign for us again. Frenchy (previous manager James French) did a superb job that will be tough to follow so credit to Mark (Moore), and also to Craig (Martin) for taking it on. I know Mark wanted the commitment of the older lads as a starting point and everyone gave that without hesitation".

Merrick spoke further about his ties with the club "Putting the manager/player thing to one side, we're just a group of good mates who enjoy it which is vital at our level. When frenchy announced he was stepping down we all said we'd continue regardless of the change in roles. It will also be my 10th season so I'm looking forward to a testimonial too".

Merrick spoke to us about his aims for the season ahead with the football club "It's all about the team but you have to have personal targets. At any level getting goals from midfield is vital, and I always aim for double figures so will do again. We've always had a great home record but last season it dropped off. If we sort that out it will take care of league position. It's nice to be in the FA Cup too but most of all I would like us to win something. When you look back on a season, or your time playing, you'll always remember the cups you win ahead of a league position. Unless you win it of course”.

 

mark moore brad martin longlevens hellenic league footballMartin Returns To Longlevens - 5 July

Striker Brad Martin has agreed to return to Longlevens after a brief stint at Evo-Stik Southern League Slimbridge.

He returns to the club having left at Christmas last season when he was approach to sign for the Slimbridge. “Last season was a poor one on the whole for Longlevens I believe, the lack of availability from players wasn't ideal and it didn't help us push on from the season before. By Christmas I was slightly annoyed at this and wanted to challenge myself further. I decided to join Slimbridge after various conversations with both Leon Sterling and Freddy Ward”. Martin mentioned when asked about his move last season.

However after the summer period Martin has decided to return to Longlevens and pick up where he left off “The second half of last season was terrible on my own behalf, I was very inconsistent and wasn't enjoying football that much whatsoever. I'm returning this season as I like what Mark (Moore) is trying to do at Longlevens, not just with the first team but at the club as a whole. He wants to give players the opportunity to develop and progress and I wanted to be part of that, to help out some of the younger lads as well as developing myself as a player”.

Martin played a major part in the Longlevens team that rapidly rose to their current position during James Frenches reign, this included wining the Gloucestershire County League golden boot in the 2013-14 season scoring 36 goals for Longlevens.

Martin spoke about his aims for the season “I think every striker has personal aims going into each season and mine would be to score 25 goals this year, however this is irrelevant in the whole scheme of things. Ideally the first team finish top 8 in the Hellenic League, the club is developing players and therefore all 4 teams are competitive in their respective leagues and cup competitions. It would also be nice to have a good run in either the FA Cup or Vase and then who knows what may happen”.

Martin will feature in the first Pre-Season game against Toolstation Premier Division side Cribbs FC at Saw Mills on Saturday 8 July, 3pm KO.

 

myron turner hellenic leagueTurner Turns To Levens - 28 June

Longlevens announce their second new signing of the summer by confirming the signature of striker Myron Turner.

26 year old Turner (pictured) arrives from Gloucestershire County League runners up Frampton United. He was a member of the Gala Wilton side which claimed the Gloucester Northern Senior League Division One title in 2013 and runners up in 2014.

The striker, who can play anywhere along the front three, then moved to Frampton United. “I played there for a few seasons, in my first year we finished 3rd, I scored 21 league goals and won managers player of the year. Last season we finished runners up and I was on 18 league goals before missing the back end of the season through injury” Turner said when reflecting on his time with Frampton.

Turner spoke to us about his reasons for signing for Longlevens, “I’ve decided to move after playing in the county league for a few years. I want to try and play at a higher level and Mark (Moore) invited me down to pre-season for that chance to do so. It helps that I know a few of the lads already having played against them over the years so I know it’s a decent club to join. My First aim is to establish myself in the squad and then the starting 11 to try help Longlevens push on and improve in the Hellenic League”

“I’ve known Myron for a long time now and his name has always stood out on an oppositions team sheet. He was a player that was on our radar from when I found out the I was being offered the job at the club and am pleased to have secured his services” commented manager Moore.

Turner will make his first appearance in a Longlevens shirt in the clubs opening pre-season fixture again Toolstation side Cribbs FC on Saturday 8July at Saw Mills. 3pm KO. 

 

First Levens Signature For 17/18 - 25 June

Longlevens AFC first new signing of the new season is Goalkeeper Ashley (Ash) Wintle previously with Toolstation First Division outfit Keynsham Town.

Ash, 27 is a PE Teacher in Bristol whose had previous spells with; Bishop Sutton and Larkhall Athletic where he was part of the Toolstation Premier Division championship side 2013/14. He then spent three campaigns with Keynsham Town culminating with only just missing out on promotion to the Toolstation Premier with a 4th placed finish in last season campaign with the club.

Ash spoke to us about his move to Longlevens, “having recently moved to Gloucester after living in Bristol all my life I wanted to continue to play football. I knew Mark (Moore) so it was an easy decision to come along”

Moore commented on the signing as “Great news for the side” saying, “Ash settled in right from the very first session he had with us last season. He is a great lad with a good pedigree behind him and so we are really pleased to have him along at the football club”

When asked about the forthcoming season Wintle said, “I’m looking forward to getting started and just want to do my best for the football club. As ever I aim for more clean sheets than last season and a higher league position than the team achieved last season”

 

Fitness Building - 9 June

With the summer months in full force and the majority of players now sat on the beaches and beacons across the world, an unlikely figure has stepped forward to support Longlevens players in maintaining and building their fitness levels ready for the start of another season in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League.

Rich Workman, himself an ex player who appeared for Slimbridge, Harrow Hill, Tuffley and Longlevens has lead the team through some off season conditioning. "I took the boys out on a few short runs before pre-season and have now started moving them up towards some serious middle distance running with an aim to building up their endurance levels, enabling them to ground running in pre season" workman said when asked what the aims of the sessions were.

Workman spoke about how his own choices for why he's taken up running have influenced what he's currently leading with the Longlevens players "I was forced to retire from football due to a back injury and took up running as a way to keep fit. I've ran a lot of races over the past 5 years and in each race im always looking to push harder to challenge myself. I'd say I was fitter now than when I played football"

Increasing players fitness levels is a message that new first team manager Mark Moore supports "I'm aiming to change the way we play a little this year and what Rich (workman) is doing with the lads now fits in perfectly to give us the platform to do just that" Longlevens have announced their pre season friendlies which start with Toolstation Premier Division side Cribbs FC at home on Saturday 8th July 3pm ko.

Workman said that he has seen a change in focus since he decided to start the sessions "Everyone is looking to better themselves and we regularly get at least 5 lads per session. They have a good attitude towards going out in the evenings and weekends to cover any distance and are always pushing each other to keep going. To me this shows the boys want to push on and have a good go at achieving their highest finish in the league to date"

With the Hellenic League constitution now released Longlevens can look forward to another season at the highest level of football in their history with another year competing in national competitions such as the FA Cup and FA Vase. The domestic season is set to start w/c 31st July.

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