Arlen Birch to kick on at AFC Telford after deal ‘relief’
Defender Arlen Birch admitted a sense of relief having signed a new AFC Telford deal – but insists he will not become complacent.
Birch, 23, was brought in as a free transfer at the beginning of October during Gavin Cowan’s squad reshuffle having began the season without a club.
The former AFC Fylde man, an FA Trophy winner last season, initially joined Cowan’s men until January.
He has since made 10 National League North appearances, starting nine, and put in some consistent displays on either side of defence.
Birch said: “It’s a good feeling. I’ve known about it for a couple of weeks but it gives me that bit of security.
“It’s hard to come by in football. It’s a relief for the next six months, or even four months in football terms. But I can’t get complacent, I’ve got to keep pushing myself.
“I have to say the gaffer has been really good with me since I’ve come in and shown faith in me. I’m more than happy to stay.”
“He and the staff are always wanting more which mean no-one is complacent.”
Birch was born in Wrexham, but grew up in Ellesmere. He played for Oswestry Boys as a youngster.
Cowan’s men have picked up seven points from a possible nine over a busy six-day festive period.
Telford, now 13th, continue their aim to move up the National North table with a home clash against promotion contenders Brackley Town tomorrow.
Birch added: “I feel like we’ve got enough here to do something this season.”
“We had a pick up in results (when Birch and fellow new signings joined in October) but then we had a lull but results over Christmas have put us back on track with where we know we can be.
“I think we’ve gone back to basics which isn’t a bad thing. We picked up a good result in Chester and it’s started a good run.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Jon Royle – Telford’s longest-serving player – was due to finish his loan spell at Bradford Park Avenue yesterday (January 1). The 25-year-old played six times for the division’s bottom club.
He looks set to the return to the Bucks.