Storks boss Smith is keen to build a fortress

Liam Smith. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Liam Smith. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Hallowe’en may have passed but Storks chief Liam Smith is encouraging his side to strike fear in to the heart of the enemy by making the Arbories an unpleasant place to visit.

While Padiham Football Club prides itself on a family friendly atmosphere and environment, the former Reds assistant doesn’t want his players to extend that hospitality to the opposition on the pitch.

The Storks, currently 11th in the Hallmark Security Premier Division, have won a third of their fixtures at the Ruby Civil Arena so far this term and Smith is keen to discover the edge that will help turn the Well Street stadium in to a fortress.

“It’s good to get back home because it feels like we’ve been away a lot recently,” he said. “It’s huge for us to get our home form right.

“We want it to be a fortress and we want to make it an unenjoyable experience for the opposition. We want people to fear coming here.

“It would be nice to back up some of these away performances. These games are really important for the club. We’ve got an exciting young squad and we are exciting to watch.”

Basement side Barnton will be the first team to pay a visit on Saturday, with kick off at 3 p.m., before Abbey Hey make the journey on Tuesday for a 7-45 p.m. start.

Smith said: “We know that these games will be tough and we can’t afford to get complacent. We’ll prepare properly for these games and we’ll do it in the same manner as we always do because we know the demand. We won’t be taking anybody for granted.

“We’re in a good place at the minute and we just need to keep this run going. There’s a really positive feel to the club.”

The Storks, who earned online stardom for the comeback against Widnes in their last outing, will then replay the Lancashire Challenge Trophy tie away at Daisy Hill on Thursday before travelling to the Ambitek Stadium to take on Irlam next weekend.

Following a couple of postponements, Smith said: “We’ve just been trying to get the lads in the best condition that we can. Unfortunately, postponements are the nature of the beast at this level. We’re not blessed with pristine pitches.

“We’re not blessed with the biggest squad in the world. We’ve got injuries while others have departed so to play four times in a week is going to be a big ask. It will be tough and they’re all important games.

“It’s a physically demanding week and it’s asking a lot for part-time footballers to give up four days of their lives. Rotation will be key so people will be given the opportunity to prove themselves.”