Morris thrilled to see Armthorpe climb the table

Toolstation NCEL Division One 

Armthorpe Welfare manager Lee Morris

Lee Morris says Armthorpe Welfare are moving in the right direction following a run of outstanding form.

Five league wins in a row prior to the defeat at Retford FC last Saturday have propelled Armthorpe from a league status of strugglers to top half contenders.

Now Morris is looking up the table and challenging his men to cause a surprise.

“If we had won on Saturday we would have moved onto 25 points and we’d have been about three points off the play-offs,” Morris told Non League Yorkshire.

“Then you think even if we had picked up a couple of wins during the (bad start) we’d have been in the play-offs.

“But the lads aren’t on the money that you can go ‘you can’t go on holiday’.

“We have to be happy.

“If someone had said at the start of the season that we’d be ninth and be four or five points off the play-offs at this point, I’d have took it.

“We knew holiday-season was upon us at the start of the season.

“We did really well in pre-season but honestly the amount of people we had missing in the first five or six weeks was just horrendous.

“We couldn’t get the same 16 out, never mind the same eleven.

“We got suspensions on top of that so it was a very frustrating time.

“We knew when everyone was back that we had a really good squad and a good chance of moving up the league and that’s exactly what has happened.

“What the lads have done over the last five or six games has been terrific.

“We have to build on that.

“The first half of the season is not over yet but in the second half of the season we need to break into that top eight and see where we can actually go.

“We’re in that category where we’re around eighth to 13th or 14th budget-wise but there’s always a surprise (package) in the top eight so why can’t it be us who pushes into the top eight and maybe has a late run for the play-offs? Who knows?

“We are trying to add one-or-two to the squad to boost us now we have got into a decent position.”

Armthorpe Welfare hero Kane Reece. Picture: Steve Pennock

The intelligence of the experienced Kane Reece has been massive for Armthorpe in recent weeks since he joined from Handsworth.

Morris agrees.

“Getting Rhys Plater back was a massive bonus for us,” he said.

“He’s done really well.

“Since we have signed Kane Reece we have gone on a right run because he has been unbelievable.

“He’s got the experience and promotions under his belts.

“What he does in the dressing room and around the place has definitely made him the key signing for me since we got here.”

Armthorpe Welfare youngster Owen Sykes

Armthorpe’s form has also been aided by three players who were playing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division last season.

Louis Wardle, Cian Guest and Owen Sykes have all received rave reviews for their performances.

“They have been terrific, all three of them since they came to the club,” Morris said.

“They have been a breath of fresh air.

“Louis Wardle has been there and done it with Barnsley and he’s an absolutely outstanding footballer.

“On the other hand you have Cian Guest and Owen Sykes who are learning their trades.

“I believe both of them after another full season at this level that they go on and play a lot higher.

“It is great to watch them and see that they are learning week-in-week-out and getting better as players.

“That’s we need to do because we can’t compete so we have to look at these lads who are doing well locally and seeing if we can bring them over to us.”

Morris says there are more ‘hidden gems’ out there.

“I speak to quite a lot because I watch a lot of local football whether that’s Sunday football or Saturday football if we haven’t got a game,” he said.

“There are tons of prospects out there but there’s not many who actually want to commit because it is a long season if you have a young family or you work away.

“It is a big commitment to play in the NCEL and even higher it is worse.

“There’s gems out there but you have to try and get them to be committed to you.”

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