ALVECHURCH boss Ross Thorpe has told departing coach James McPike the door will always be open for him at Lye Meadow.

The former Kidderminster Harriers and Birmingham City player is moving on from the Midland Alliance after getting a full-time job at West Bromwich Albion’s youth academy.

Thorpe has moved quickly to replace McPike by bringing in former Redditch United reserve team boss Justin Fowkes.

Fowkes enjoyed success with the Reds reserves, winning a league and cup double last year.

Thorpe said: “James has a fantastic opportunity at a Premier League club and we wish him all the best.

“He’s done a fantastic job at Alvechurch and the door will always be open to him.

“Justin’s coming into to help on a match day but I am hoping to bring in some more new faces behind the scenes either this season or in the summer.”

Alvechurch were once again without a game at the weekend after their home clash with Shepshed Dynamo was rained off.

The Churchmen did play Sutton Coldfield Town in a friendly last Tuesday and put in a good display despite losing 4-1.

Alvechurch were set to play third-placed Quorn at home last night and then entertain title favourites Tividale on Saturday (3pm ko).

Former Walsall and Redditch United striker Connor Deards has joined Alvechurch from Studley.

“We’re delighted to have Connor at the club. He needs a few games under his belt but he’s got great potential,” said the manager.