Clitheroe FC boss Phil Brown hopes to keep hold of Blackpool forward Owen Watkinson
Clitheroe FC manager Phil Brown is eager to keep hold of Blackpool forward Owen Watkinson until the end of the season.
The Blues boss took the forward on loan from the Tangerines at the start of the season and, having netted four times, he’s keen to extend the teenager’s stay at Shawbridge.
The 18-year-old is expected back at Bloomfield Road in the new year, but Brown will hold talks with representatives from the League One club beforehand to explore their options.
After helping Clitheroe climb in to the top four in the BetVictor NPL North West Division, the former Lancaster City chief said: “Owen’s loan deal runs until January 11th so we’ve still got plenty of football to play between now and then.
“We’re keen for him to stay, he’s a good player and he fits in with everybody in and around the club.
“However, he’s a loan player and Blackpool will have a development plan in place for him. I haven’t had a conversation with him yet and we’ll need to have a chat with Blackpool somewhere down the line and see what their position is.
“If we do keep hold of him it would be fantastic, but we’ve got to respect that he’s Blackpool’s player. Hopefully his future is with us, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, Brown feels that he’s striking the right chord when it comes to the delicate balancing act between youth and experience within his Clitheroe camp.
The former Lancaster City boss, who has a BetVictor NPL North West Division title triumph on his CV, has been trying to formulate the perfect blend for his squad since taking over in the summer.
And it’s seemingly bringing the best out of the Blues, who are riding high in the table just short of the halfway stage of the season.
“We didn’t have enough experience to begin with, we had players who were hungry and dynamic, so we had to get that balance right,” said Brown.
“We lacked experience early doors, but we’ve remedied that. We’ve got the right blend now and you can see in our results that we’re striking that balance.
“We know how to approach games and manage them now, we’ve built some consistency and I’m really happy with that.
The lads are doing a really good job, but we’re still always looking to improve.
“We’ve got a team that will work hard for each other, they’re trustworthy and honest.”
Clitheroe take on sixth place Pontefract Collieries on Saturday.
The South Yorkshire side are two points adrift of the Blues, but have played four games less. Brown said: “A few teams have caught us up in terms of games played and some have closed the gap.
“Others have still got games in hand, but they’ve got to get the points. I would rather have the points on the board.
“At this moment in time I’m happy with where we are. Our ambition hasn’t changed, although we don’t want to come out of where we are.”