MANAGER Dave Cooper believes promoted AFC Ludlow can hold their own next season in West Midlands League Division One.

Cooper guided Ludlow to the Division Two title earlier this month and has already arranged a series of pre-season friendlies.

He is hoping to be given the backing to continue as manager at the club’s annual meeting at the Showtime Stadium next Monday (June 2), starting at 7pm.

“I will be making myself available to be manager next season and, as you would imagine, I will be happy to continue,” said Cooper.

“Louis Watkins, whom I am told played for Westfields, plays cricket for Ludlow and would like to come for pre-season training,” said Cooper.

“I’ve had a call from a lad from Manchester whose partner lives in Ludlow and he’s been playing at a level above the equivalent of the Midland Alliance.”

Cooper and soon-to-be-married Mike Seaborne, and several of the players, will be collecting the Division Two trophy at the West Midlands League’s presentation evening at Walsall Football Club on June 7.

The new league season will begin on Auugst 9 and Ludlow have arranged a series of pre-season friendlies.

“We have lined-up some excellent friendlies – we have got the champions of the Mercian League and AFC Bridgnorth who only lost one league match last season and lost in the county cup final against Ellesmere Rangers,” said Cooper.

Ludlow’s frendlies start with a trip to FC Stafford on July 12 (3pm kick off); AFC Bridgnorth, away, on July 19, (3pm kick-off); Church Stretton Town, away, on July 23, (7pm kick-off). Ludlow will also face Oakengates on August 2 at a venue to be arranged.

Cooper said: “Jamie Hammonds is keen to get playing again, my son, Keanu, has been asked to play for another team but I am hoping he will play for us, while Adie Marsh is very keen to start playing again.

“Mike Seaborne has said that he doesn’t want to be playing next season and wants to concentrate on the matchday side of things and Kate Woodhouse is coming back at matchday secretary.”

Cooper added: “The local community are fully behind the club - James Hepworth is a local businessman who has donated money to us.

“And we will be producing a matchday programme for our home matches next season and any businesses wanting to take out adverts, should get in touch with me.”

For more details on AFC Ludlow, call Dave Cooper on 07875 560398.