LEE Elam was down watching his academy boys play against Robbie Fowler’s charges yesterday in Liverpool, but it is Eccleshill’s first team which will be his focus today.

They host a strong Liversedge side, and are still looking for their first Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division win of the season.

But there were plenty of positives for the Eagles to take from their 2-1 defeat at perennial title challengers Penistone Church last time out, and Elam hopes to use similar tactics to down local rivals Sedge today.

He said: “At Penistone, our gameplan went quite well. I felt we frustrated them and dominated the middle of midfield.

“We had a good chance to nick it, but then they scored from a set piece late on.

“We were putting our foot in and were aggressive so I was pleased with the performance.

“Liversedge will be tough like Penistone, so we’ll probably set out the same gameplan as we did there.

“We’ll play to our strengths and hopefully cancel out theirs. I imagine they’ll be quite direct in playing the ball up to their strikers, so we’ll try to nullify that.

“But I have good footballers in my team, so I’m confident we can do a good job.”

One good footballer who is no longer with the Eagles is defender Sam Bradley.

He only rejoined Eccleshill a few months ago after returning from Dubai, but he has already left to play for another one of his former clubs, Albion Sports.

Elam said: “That was down to Sam, it was his decision. We wanted him to stay and did all we could to keep him, but he decided to go. You’ll have to get him to explain why he left.

“But we need players who want to play here and take the club forward, so I’m not too bothered anyway.

“Besides we’ve brought in a new, aggressive leader in defence in Antony Leech. He was Shelley’s captain for a number of years and I was looking for a leader like him.

“With all the young lads we’ve got in the squad, we need some men.”

Leech will hope to guide the team to a first competitive win of the season today. Not only have Eccleshill lost both of their opening two league games, but they went out of the FA Cup and FA Vase at the first hurdle too.

Assessing his side’s start to the campaign, Elam said: “We were not our best in the FA Cup (a 3-0 defeat to Silsden), that was an off day.

“But we dominated the first half against Goole (a 2-0 league defeat), it’s just we didn’t take our chances. They then scored against the run of play and we had Talent Ndlovu sent off.

“And against Penistone, it was quite even, I just thought we had bad luck.

“Things haven’t gone our way in terms of results but I’m not too disappointed with the way we’ve been performing.”