Harriers look to the past for future glory

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The Independent Online
Non-League notebook

RUPERT METCALF

Kidderminster Harriers, the ambitious Worcestershire club, have turned back the clock in their quest to regain the GM Vauxhall Conference title they won in 1994.

If they had retained their crown last season, they would now be members of the Endsleigh League, ground improvements at Aggborough having been completed last summer, so last term's 11th place was deeply disappointing for Graham Allner, their manager.

Allner surprised many Harriers fans this summer by bringing the 34-year- old striker, Kim Casey, back to the club on a free transfer from Solihull Borough. Casey first joined Kidderminster in 1985, and enjoyed five prolific seasons leading their attack. He has now been reunited with his striking partner from that era, Paul Davies, another veteran who is now Harriers' player-coach.

"I know Casey as well as anyone," Allner said yesterday. "People get hung up about age, but he's very fit and his ability has never been in doubt. We needed quality in that position."

In his first spell with the club, Casey linked up with Davies and Mick Tuohy to form a highly effective three-man forward line. Allner has turned once more to that formation by signing Leroy May, who came third in last season's GMVC list of top scorers, from Stafford Rangers for pounds 15,000. "They are all working very well together," Allner said, "and have provided a cutting edge we've not had for a long time."

Although their league record so far shows two wins and two defeats, Harriers have not found goals hard to come by: they have scored 12 times in their four games. The return to a three-pronged attack was also prompted in part by the absence of last season's two wide men, Delwyn Humphreys and Jon Purdie. The two experienced forwards were placed on the transfer list for disciplinary reasons after the club's close-season trip to Guernsey. Allner expects to offload both men to rival non-League clubs within the next week.

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