CHRIS BRIGHT believes a “strong and stable” squad will be the key to Pershore Town ending the season by pushing towards the top half of the table.
Bright has had to bide his time to return to regular football after more than a year battling back to fitness after twice breaking his foot.
The former Southam United player has established himself in the heart of the Town midfield as they look to push away from the bottom third of the Midland League Division One table, having had two seasons battling against the drop.
Despite last weekend’s defeat to top three candidates Hinckley AFC, the performance suggested they should fear nobody.
“On our day we can challenge the top teams,” said Bright. “We’ve shown that but we know we need that consistency.
“If you get that, then you become a top team. We know we’re a way off that but we’ve got a strong and stable squad now.
“If we keep this group of players together I think we’ll keep climbing the table. I think we’re good enough to be a comfortable mid-table side.
“If we could push for the top ten that be even better. That’s what we’re trying to build – a top ten side.”
Continuity will help. Town have used 51 players this season as manager Quentin Townsend has had to rebuild at various points through the campaign.
Bright, in his third spell at Town, is just happy to be back playing after a nightmare time trying to regain his fitness.
The midfielder has type 1 diabetes and is spearheading an awareness campaign including looking to form a GB team for the DiaEuro tournament in June, but it was a football injury, albeit playing futsal, which halted his progress.
Even more frustratingly, it came as he made his debut for Wales in the Futsal Home Nations tournament in December 2016, when the Dragons roared to the title.
As well as playing 11-a-side football, Bright starred for Birmingham Tigers in the National Fustal League, earning a call-up to the Wales squad.
“I got selected for Wales and won two caps but then in the first game of the Home Nations I broke my metatarsal,” recalled Bright. “That was the end of the tournament for me and Wales went on to win to become champions for the first time.
“I had an operation but then I was back running in training and broke it again and had to have another operation. It was one of those awkward breaks and it has taken time to heal.
“It’s great to be back playing. I’m enjoying it.”
Bright is also back playing futsal – a FIFA-backed five-a-side form of the game which originated in South America – for the university-based Worcester team, who play in Division Two of the National League.