Bradford Telegraph and ArgusHainsworth: Avenue could have been champions last season with their best 11 (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Hainsworth: Avenue could have been champions last season with their best 11

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Injury restricted Martin Drury to 20 games last season Injury restricted Martin Drury to 20 games last season

WITH their new green and white home shirts unveiled last week, Bradford Park Avenue are hoping for the rub of the green in the coming season.

Last term began with the heart ripped out of their midfield as skipper Nathan Hotte and Jordan Deacey both missed the opening games.

Avenue finance director Kevin Hainsworth said: "I hope we get off to a good start this time and we can also work on some of the things we got wrong last year.

"We are learning along the way, after all, and the best way to move forward is to keep improving.

"Having said that, I still feel we didn't get the rub of the green last season. In fact, if it hadn't been for bad luck we would have had no luck at all.

"Jordan broke his arm in two places during pre-season and Nathan had that two-match ban hanging over him from the end of the season before last.

"We had three periods when we were up against it. At the start, around Christmas and then towards the back end we had horrendous problems because of injuries and suspensions.

"Martin Drury was carrying an injury for most of the season and only played 20 games, James Knowles missed ten and Adam Clayton was out for a long time."

Left back Drury made a complete recovery towards the end of the last campaign but is looking forward to the pre-season so he can get fully fit.

When manager John Deacey had all of his small squad available, the results were good and the prospects promising.

Hainsworth said: "If we had been able to put our top 11 out more often, I believe we would have had a chance to win it (Conference North) – never mind the play-offs.

"That is why we worked hard to give John a bigger playing budget and he has done well to get three top-quality players in.

"I think that gives us a lot more of a chance for this coming season but, as I've said before, we are not setting any targets."

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