Rob Smith beat European interest to Halesowen job

Director of football Keith McKenna insists Halesowen Town had applicants from as far as Italy for the manager’s post – which has now been filled by Rob Smith.

Smith resigned as Hednesford Town boss to become Yeltz chief, succeeding John Hill who had served in the role for six years.

He has taken assistant Larry Chambers with him to The Grove and in giving them the reins, McKenna had to turn down ‘some very good managers’.

“We had a massive response,” said McKenna.

“We had a lot of experienced managers apply for the job, some with less experience, and even people from Italy, Ireland and Wales.

“I’ve had to give some bad news to some very good managers, but we’re delighted to have brought Rob and Larry in.

“The club has got to progress now – and we firmly believe they will be the ones to take us forward.”

Smith, who used to play for Halesowen, takes over with them sat fourth bottom in the Southern League Central.

There are players he has managed before in the Yeltz squad from his time at AFC Telford United in veteran striker Lee Hughes and combative midfielder Jack Rea.

His first test is against Stratford Town at The Grove tomorrow (3pm).

Hednesford, meanwhile, have placed Francino Francis in caretaker charge and head to Workington in the Northern Premier.

Stafford Rangers will look to end a run of four winless matches in the Northern Premier when they host mid-table Buxton.

Francino Francis

In Northern One West, Chasetown go searching for their first home league win of the season when they welcome Colne to Staffordshire.

But the Scholars enter the match on their best run of results of the season having picked up back-to-back wins on their travels to lift them to 17th.

Colne, though, are flying high – they are third in the table.

Having locked horns with the Southern Central leaders last weekend, Rushall Olympic face a different challenge with a trip to struggling Bedworth United.

Bedworth are yet to taste victory in 17 league games this season, while the Pics were unlucky not to get anything out of their encounter with Kettering Town, which they lost 1-0.

“It was a strange feeling at the end of the game,” admitted manager, Liam McDonald. “On one hand I was frustrated that we had lost but I was also extremely proud of my players.

“To lose to a set-piece was disappointing but there were a lot of positives to come out of our performance against easily the best team in this league.

“Everyone played their part and now we have to take these standards into our trip to Bedworth United at the weekend.

“We will go there with a totally different game plan but a similar desire to work hard and be committed.

“Bedworth have lost a lot of games by the odd goal so it is only a matter of time before they start winning so we need to be fully focussed on the task in hand and make sure that we come home with the points.

“The lads are starting to believe in what we are doing and to be fair, we are not a million miles away from where we want to be.”

Kidderminster Harriers head to promotion rivals Spennymoor Town in National League North, hoping to end a run of four matches without a win.

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