American Eagles fly home for Christmas

Eagles boss Lee Duxbury is aware that the club are going to have to dig deep to keep their promotion chase on track over the holiday period.

While clubs higher up the football pyramid struggle with a busy period, five games in a 15-day spell, the Toolstation Northern Counties East League does not have Boxing Day or New Year’s Day games to contend with.

However, Eccleshill face a different type of problem. With the bulk of their squad made up of the young students from the Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy (RIASA), many of them have gone back overseas.

All of which is foreign to former Bantams midfielder and Oldham Athletic coach Duxbury, who said: “Some of the Americans are going home to be with their families so we are going to have to be very tactically-minded. It’s not that busy a spell for us but the squad numbers are going to be down for the games we do have.

“We have players missing anyway, match-winning players who have been injured, so the last thing we wanted was to lose some more. But how can I ask them not to go home for the holiday period? They are young lads and some of them are away from home on their own for the first time.

“Thankfully we have a lot of key players who are staying. Some of them are being joined over here by their parents, to spend Christmas together in England.

“It will be a difficult time without doubt but we will have to ride with it.

“I have looked at getting players in but that’s difficult because they don’t want to come over a short period.

“We will just have to be a little clever with the tactics and try to grind a few results out.”

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