by Nick Pullen

HALESOWEN Town have been dealt a huge start of season blow after striker Kyle Brady suffered a knee injury during last Saturday’s final pre-season friendly against Leamington.

Brady pulled up after 43 minutes when clearly in distress, prompting the referee to halt proceedings early for half time.

Yeltz boss John Hill said: “It appeared to be a bad injury, although we couldn’t diagnose the extent as Kyle’s knee has since swollen up.

“My real worry is the fact Kyle damaged his cruciate ligament a couple of years ago.

“It’s no secret that Kyle has been very impressive since joining us this summer from AFC Wulfrunians and forged a really effective partnership with Ben Haseley.

“Managers have known about Kyle for sometime as he’s always scored goals whether he’s been at Rushall Olympic, Tividale or Wulfrunians.

“But he’s more than just a goal-scorer, like Ben, he works really hard and they’ve made a good impact together.

“We’ve got other options up front, but to have this happen just days before the start of season, I have to admit it’s a blow.”

Halesowen open their Evo-Stick Northern League Division One South campaign on Saturday with a trip to Lincoln United followed by a home clash with Sutton Coldfield Town on Tuesday night.

Halesowen’s preparations have gone well and rounded off with a 1-0 win over last season’s Southern League champions Leamington when a Chris Lait goal separated the sides.

Hill added: “I’m not trying to be coy, but I find pre-season a messy time. You play different rotatations with different players, as do the opposition.

“Results-wise, it’s not a true reflection of where the club is. Just take the Stourbridge game for instance when we lost, but everyone will agree we were the better side.

“Then we’ve beaten Leamington, yet Leamington beat Conference Premier side Nuneaton.

“Lincoln United will be a tough opener, not least because it’s a two and half hour trip. But I’d rather get it out of the way with now, than in midweek.”