KEVIN Watkin is grateful to the amateur football community in the area for rallying around Holker Old Boys during a crucial period for the team in North West Counties League First Division North.

The Stags are in the midst of a run of four games in the space of 10 days, including what is starting to look like a must-win game away to fellow strugglers Daisy Hill tomorrow.

But their squad has been boosted by up-and-coming Dalton United defender Kane Fitch and experienced Crooklands Casuals striker Dave Mansergh, along with former Holker player Brad Hubbold rejoining on loan from Workington Reds, being made available to play for them.

The trio all featured in the 2-1 defeat away to Ashton Town on Tuesday evening and Holker player-manager Watkin is delighted the area’s West Lancashire League teams and players are happy to help them out.

“This part of the season, it starts to get more difficult because games come thick and fast,” said Watkin. “Compared to a lot of teams in our division we’re at a bit of a disadvantage because we’ve got quite a small squad size.

“Some of that is the catchment area we’ve got because we’re kind of restricted to drawing people in.

“We do rely on other teams and it’s good other teams can support the club, and we have that respect in the town to try to help each other out and make sure local football in the town is performing.

“We all want to do it for enjoyment and make sure we perform at the best level, so it’s good other managers and other players recognise that. It’s a great help.”

Fitch’s signing is with a view to him joining Holker on a permanent basis, and he has already made himself available for tomorrow’s match and the trip to Nelson on Tuesday, while Mansergh is available for the latter too.

Tomorrow’s clash with Daisy Hill at New Sirs comes on the back of the hosts sending Holker back into the bottom two after winning 3-1 at home to Cleator Moor Celtic last Saturday.

Watkin is under no illusions about the importance of tomorrow’s encounter, but at the same time he knows it is not the be all and end all for Old Boys in the context of the season.

“The stature of the game now just becomes absolutely huge,” said Watkin. “It’s probably the biggest a lot of the players and myself have been involved in.

“But we have said every game is a big game at the moment – there’s no game we can go into thinking we can’t afford to get something.

“We have to get something at every opportunity at the moment. It doesn’t need stating to the lads anymore and they’re already aware of how big a game it is.”