Oct 22 2012 By Jon Batham
Sean Cronin Image 2
SEAN Cronin insists it is business as usual in the wake of Alan Massey’s departure from Wealdstone.
Cronin has spent much of the early weeks of the season on the bench, but resumed duties alongside Wes Parker at the heart of the Stones’ rearguard after Massey opted to make the step up to Conference Premier level with Braintree.
The no-nonsense Welshman was however at pains to point out he and skipper Parker were the heart of the back four during much of Wealdstone’s successful late run last season.
So while he wished his fellow defender bon voyage, he insists he and his team-mates can cope in the absence of a Stones legend.
He said: “It’s a great move for Alan and I’m pleased for him, but last season for the majority of the time it was me and Wes at centre-back and Alan was at left back.
“So we are used to each other’s games and I think we kept something like 25 clean sheets last year as a pair.
“Obviously Mass played a big part in that, but I think Chaps (Lee Chappell) can slot in at left-back and we can all do the job in Alan’s absence.”
The 26-year-old former Welsh youth international did however concede that without the luxury of two from three for boss Gordon Bartlett to choose from, there was more pressure on Parker and himself to continue Stones’ reputation for being defensive misers.
The task will not be made any easier by Parker’s absence from Monday night games, when he will be attending lectures related to accountancy exams, and even then the former Boston United and Grimsby Town man will have to watch his tendency to incur the wrath of referees.
Parker clocked up in excess of 15 bookings last term and is well on the way to a first suspension this time around.
Cronin suspects all these factors will put boss Gordon Bartlett in the market for a loanee before long.
He added: “There’s less margin for error now. It is not three from two but just the two of us, especially as Wes loves getting a booking.
“I’m sure Gordon is looking to bring someone in. He might use the Watford connection to see if he can get a loan player from there. He knows we are a bit light on numbers at the back, so I’ll be surprised if it isn’t done by the end of next week.”