MARK Collier thinks more regular game-time at Chippenham Town would be the best thing for Aaron Oakley’s development.
The Swindon Town defender’s loan at Hardenhuish Park expired on Wednesday but Collier is pursuing a further extension for the 19-year-old, who has already spent two months with the Bluebirds.
Meanwhile, Luke Hopper’s spell with Chippenham looks to be coming to an abrupt end after the striker was the subject of a seven-day approach from his former club Hungerford Town.
Hopper has made two starts and one substitute appearance since linking up with Collier’s men earlier this month.
“Aaron came to us off the back of a long spell out injured – he’d only had two or three weeks of first-team training and then he was thrown into the deep end with us,” said the Bluebirds boss.
“He formed a good partnership with Greg Tindle and it would be a shame if he went back and wasn’t playing at Swindon.
“In my opinion, playing games is the best thing for him and we’d like to try and get him on loan again if we can.
“But if we don’t have him this weekend, then we’ve got Tyron Leigh, Jon Beeden and Bryan Smith who can also play at centre-back.
“Luke was left out of the squad last weekend and since then, we’ve had seven days in from Hungerford. I wasn’t expecting it but he had the chance to join them before coming to Chippenham and I’d expect him to go there.
“If Luke does leave then I’ll shake his hand and wish him the best. We want players who want to be at this football club.”
After Tuesday’s trip to league leaders Hemel Hempstead Town was postponed due to a water-logged pitch, the Bluebirds turn their attentions to this weekend’s home clash with Burnham.
Collier added: “I’m sure that Burnham will come to Hardenhuish thinking that they can get three points but we’ve picked up some good results in the last four home games against Weymouth, St Neots, Corby and Bashley.
“We’ve shown that we can create chances and long may that continue.”
Last weekend, second half goals from Alan Griffin and James Guthrie saw off struggling Bashley.
Scott Joyce missed an early chance to put visitors in front whilst Bashley keeper Nic Jones held Lee Phillips’ strike.
Chippenham were left frustrated late in the first period after Phillips headed goalwards from Pete Monks’ delivery, with Jones grounded.
But striker partner Griffin rushed forward to smash the ball home on the line, only to see the linesman’s flag go up for offside.
But four minutes after the break, the Bluebirds made the breakthrough as Rob Dean slid into the path of winger Guthrie, who held off his marker before slotting into the bottom right-hand corner.
Joe McClennan was denied by Jones moments later whilst up the other end, Manny Soetan cracked an effort against the inside of the post.
On the hour mark, Chippenham made it 2-0 as McClennan’s low cross was flicked into the side-netting by Griffin.
After Guthrie’s effort was blocked, Dean missed a golden opportunity to increase the home side’s lead as he lofted a shot onto the crossbar from a great position and the midfielder smacked the woodwork yet again four minutes later as he hooked an effort onto the post after being picked out by McClennan.
FOR MORE SPORTS NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport