Manzur short of defenders

MANZUR head to St Peter’s tomorrow with a major defensive headache.

Manzur and their dangerous striker, Marlon Jardim, at St Peter's last season. (Picture supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin, 28903610)
Manzur and their dangerous striker, Marlon Jardim, at St Peter's last season. (Picture supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin, 28903610)

It’s one that Mark Romeril, the Manzur coach, would not have foreseen before the surprise Frank Tobin switch and one he could do without as his inconsistents face up to three games in seven days and needing to best protect a third-choice keeper.

His central defensive options have diminished further with Sam Matthews, Mark Rihoy, Leighton Chainey and, now, Tobin, all unavailable.

It is just possible Nick Trebert could return from a knee problem, but Romeril does not really wish to utilise Thomas Dodds back there, although that is one possible option.

On the plus side for Manzur, who sit sixth but would close to three points with a match in hand if they were to win at St Peter’s, incidentally a ground where they won 5-3 last season, do have Tom Martin back from suspension.

Romeril also hopes Craig Young is available, although both coach and player recognise he is suffering.

‘We are having to use him sparingly. It’s simply wear and tear. He can’t train, so he can’t play at the level he wants to.’

Sylvans is possibly the last ground a team would wish to visit locally at present.

They are unbeaten in nine and up to third, hanging onto the coat-tails of the two frontrunners.

‘It’s going to be a tough game and they are probably the league’s most improved side,’ said an admiring Romeril, who recalled this week that only two years ago he got Martyn de Garis back into football as his Manzur assistant, only to quickly to lose him again as the man answered a desperate Sylvans SOS.

‘I think he’s a very good coach and I have a lot of respect for him. He’s always very calm and he doesn’t panic or react.’

In tomorrow’s other local FNB Priaulx League clash, Northerners make their second visit of the season to St Andrew’s, where they will find a side lifted by that maiden win in Alderney a fortnight ago, followed up by a routine 6-0 FA Cup triumph over the Manzur Reserves.

Rangers are one side that Northerners have not had trouble with this season, having scored 13 over 180 minutes to date, but the red-and-blacks are slowly building from a youthful base and confidence is clearly growing.

St Martin’s are in Alderney tomorrow aiming for a win which would reclaim top spot from Rovers, who sit it out this weekend and can rest sore bodies ahead of meeting Romeril’s men at the Track next Saturday.

Manzur also have a visit to Vale Rec on Tuesday to look forward to.

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