CHIPPENHAM Town manager Nathan Rudge hopes feeder club Chippenham Park will help him unearth a ‘rough diamond’ for the Bluebirds.
Park came into existence last summer and are aiming to bring their maiden campaign to a close by clinching promotion to the Toolstation Western League, closing the gap to Evo-Stik League Southern outfit Town.
“Nothing is ever achieved overnight but it’s probably gone even better than I expected so far – Neil (Blackmore, vice-chairman) and everyone else involved have put a lot of work into it,” said Rudge, pictured.
“They’ve got good young players there and we’ve already had a few involved in the Paulton game (last October in the Red Insure Cup).
“If they can get promoted, then it’ll close the gap a lot and for us, we’re always looking to try and unearth a rough diamond.
“We’ve already had players (Conor Thompson and Tyrone Mings) go on to Torquay and Ipswich this season, so I think we’ve done quite well and we want to give young players a chance to express themselves.
“Sometimes, a rough diamond can be right underneath your nose, so we’ll keep an eye on what’s going on at Park because those players are going to grow from boys to men in footballing terms.
“Chippenham Park is a big part of what we’re trying to do here.”
Rudge is pleased to see his team display the defensive improvement that he and assistant Richard Fey have strived for recently.
The Bluebirds are unbeaten in five matches and have two successive clean sheets under their belts.
Rudge said: “At the start of the season we were a bit too flamboyant and were going out trying to out-score other teams.
“We’ve worked on being tighter at the back and I’m pleased to see that it’s happened on the pitch.
“We’ve drawn a lot of games but we are creating chances and, if we begin taking them, we’ll turn those draws into wins.
“Someone said to me the other day that they’d prefer to see us lose games.
“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but I’d rather draw a match than lose.”