Palmer: Keeping Garnett is key to our promotion hopes

Evan Garnett in action for Belper. Photo by Tim Harrison.
Evan Garnett in action for Belper. Photo by Tim Harrison.

Belper Town boss Charlie Palmer says keeping striker Evan Garnett at the club could be crucial to any promotion push.

Palmer revealed on Monday that seven days’ notice had been put in for Garnett from Evo-Stik Premier Division club Mickleover Sports.

That means that Garnett is free to leave should he opt to play once again at a higher level, but Palmer is hoping he can convince him to stay and figurehead a charge for a top five place.

He said: “It’s no secret that if we can score more goals than we have been doing, then we should really be pushing high up the table.

“We’ve been very good defensively, but our goals for record needs to improve and we have to start turning one point into three on a more regular basis.

“To do that, we need quality front players and Evan fits that description. He’s had a few injury problems but he’s getting to full fitness now and I firmly believe that if he’s firing on all cylinders and we can provide him with plenty of chances, he’ll score lots of goals.

“I also think it will send out a big message with regard to our ambition if we’re able to stave off attention from sides like Mickleover, and if Evan opts to stay with us instead.”

The Nailers saw their match with Stocksbridge Park Steels postponed last weekend and are not due to face another fixture until Saturday, January 28 when Bedworth United visit the Amber Valley.

Palmer says the long break in games, which will amount to a total of 18 days in total since Belper last played, isn’t ideal, but believes it could also have come at a good time.

He said: “We lost to Stamford and then gave a few lads a run out against Chasetown in the League Cup, although we faded late on in that game which was perhaps understandable.

“Obviously we’d rather play games so to miss out on Saturday was disappointing but we just need to plod on and train properly and make sure we’re ready for when we return.

“In some ways it has helped us because it gives us a chance to get some of our more experienced players back from injury.”

With regard to his hopes for the rest of the campaign, Palmer remains adamant a promotion push is well within the Nailers’ capabilities.

He added: “We’re certainly looking up rather than down even through we’re in 12th place, such is the tight nature of the division.

“We aren’t going to just take each game as they come now, we have to be looking to win as many as possible and putting a good run together as we did before.

“Improving on last season is the first aim but I really want us to challenge for promotion.”