Roper plays his part in Crane's start

PUBLISHED: 13:45 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 04 March 2010

CRANE Sports chairman Steve Roper has played his part in the Ipswich-based club's tremendous start to the season.

Six points behind leaders Grundisburgh, Crane have two games in hand and have yet to taste defeat this campaign.

CRANE Sports chairman Steve Roper has played his part in the Ipswich-based club's tremendous start to the season.

Six points behind leaders Grundisburgh, Crane have two games in hand and have yet to taste defeat this campaign.

They look to be Grundisburgh's main challengers for the Metaltec SIL Senior Division title, and Roper says that bringing Christian Appleford onboard as joint manager with Robbie Beecroft has proved a timely move.

“Robbie is my nephew and I could see pre-season that we needed someone to help him as he leads a busy working life outside football,” said Roper.

“Christian has been an ideal choice with the pair working very well together.

“It is early days, but if we carry on as we are hopefully we can be in with a shout of winning something at the end of the season.

“Christian's technical experience as a Uefa B coach has attributed to our pleasing start to the season with almost maximum numbers at training on Wednesday evenings.”

Roper says that having strength in depth on the playing side has also played a part.

He went on: “It is important to realise that although we run a first team and reserves we are one club and must stick together.

“It's imperative that guys who are not getting a regular game or not starting every week remain patient.

“Their turn will come through injuries, suspension and to a lesser extent loss of form.

“This has been confirmed with three out of the first team's last five victories being achieved with goals from players coming off the bench.

“Jamie Baker came on for the last 15 minutes on Saturday and scored the winner with a fantastic strike.

“To be honest we only deserved to draw.

“And the reserves have won three games on the bounce after a change of management.

“The new management duo of Crane stalwart Shaun Watson and Dave Ward has rejuvenated them and a new-found spirit has been transferred on to the pitch.”

Enver Osman of Pack and Stack and Splash Lifestyle kitchen and bathrooms, Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich have provided the Crane first and reserve teams with drill tops.

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