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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Family affair as Barrow AFC boss loans brother's star teens

DARREN Sheridan has turned to his brother for help with transforming Barrow AFC’s troubled season.

Sheridan and fellow Bluebirds joint-manager Dave Bayliss have taken two teenage players on loan from League Two table-toppers Chesterfield, managed by John Sheridan.

Both new recruits, Craig Clay and Tendayi Darikwa, will be in the Barrow squad aiming to break a winless eight-game run when they travel to in-form Rushden and Diamonds tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

Nottingham-born Clay, 18, is described as a combative midfielder who has made four first-team appearances for the Spireites, all this season, and scored one goal – the equaliser in a 5-5 draw with Crewe.

Like his team-mate, Darikwa is 18 and hails from Nottingham.

He is described as an attacking midfielder/forward who has a good turn of pace and an eye for goal.

Both have come through the ranks at Chesterfield alongside striker Jordan Bowery, who had a loan spell at Barrow last season, and have agreed to four-week emergency loan deals.

The pair are the first new faces brought in by under-fire bosses Sheridan and Bayliss, who vowed to make changes following Sunday’s embarrassing defeat at lower-league FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup.

Speaking ahead of Barrow’s trip to Nene Park – where the Bluebirds have not won in three previous visits – Bayliss said last night: “It might be that we strip it right back and just go for some young legs, inject some enthusiasm in there.”

Also returning to the AFC squad tomorrow is 19-year-old Welsh midfield starlet James Owen, who was suspended for last weekend’s cup tie.

Experienced winger Neil Wainwright comes back into contention for the last game of his current loan spell from Morecambe.

Bayliss said: “It’s a big plus to have James back. He’s been terrific this season, one of the bright lights for us, and he will be involved again at Rushden.

“He’s been looking good in training this week and is raring to go.”

The AFC co-chief added: “It’s Neil’s last game. We’d like to extend his stay but obviously money is a bit tight, so we’ll just see how it all looks after the weekend.”

First-choice goalkeeper Alan Martin was today set undergo a fitness test with parent club Leeds United on his injured ankle. The Scotland under-21s international has not played since going over on his ankle in the warm-up for the Cambridge United game a fortnight ago.

Danny Forrest (ankle) is likely to miss out, while Robin Hulbert (hamstring) hopes to return. Barrow seem unlikely to stick with the 3-5-2 formation which they started against FC United, with a switch to a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 on the cards.

The Bluebirds, still seeking their first away win of the season, currently sit third-bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier table in the relegation mire.

The co-bosses have, however, this week spoken of their determination to turn things round, starting tomorrow.

l Barrow have rescheduled two of their games following last weekend’s FA Cup exit. They will now play their home league game against Newport County on Saturday, November 6 (3pm kick-off) and their Lancashire Cup tie at Southport on Tuesday, November 9 (7.45pm kick-off).

Barrow (from): S Pearson, Spender, Jones, Bolland, Edwards, Rutherford, Clay, Owen, Wainwright, Walker, Chadwick, M Pearson, Boyd, Hulbert, Sheridan, Goodfellow, Darikwa, Blundell, Martin.

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