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Shaun Webbley chats with Don Lewis & Jude Taylor about their starts to the season

When Ivor Green came into the dressing room ahead of a tough away fixture in the Midland Premier Division fixture against Stone Old Alleynians, there was one player he was keen to seek out for praise.

The former Atherstone Town boss could have sought out Dan 'Wonder' Smith for his goalscoring exploits, Jack Edwards for his adaptation to a new position or Joe Haines for adapting to the captaincy with ease, but it was another name Green was raving about.

Dominic Lewis, who joined the club in the summer, was the name that Green was full of praise for and it's hard to disagree with the manager's assessment.

Lewis has come into a side and into a division he has never played in before and has excelled. His energy, his reading of the game and his passing make him a superb option in the middle of the park for Lichfield.

The young midfielder has done so well that one player, following the tough win over Stone Old Alleynians, wanted to award Lewis with the man of the match award himself.

He has settled in superbly well and Green and Chapman, the almost impermeable coaching pair who let nothing get in their way, have seemingly unearthed another gem.

Similar to how they signed Jack Edwards, a player from the league below, in Lewis’ case two leagues below, has come in and settled tremendously well.

The ironic thing is, during the dressing room craic that is so important to build a winning team morale, Lewis is almost invisible. A man who seems content with not saying anything and letting other, more vocal members of the squad do the talking.

On the pitch, however, it is a different story. He seemingly covers every blade of grass with such ease that his teammates almost expect him to win the ball back if he's contesting a tackle or be in the right place at the right time if they're in trouble defensively.

The midfielder spoke after the win over Stone about how he has settled into life in a league he has never played in and a team he has, once again, never played in as well as the trust he has built with the management team.

"From the start, they've always been honest with me and have seemingly put that trust in me since I've joined which has helped," Lewis said. "All I can do is repay them, giving my all on the pitch and showing them what I can do throughout 90 minutes on the football pitch.

"I can't thank them both enough for doing that."

The midfielder, despite his quiet demeanour on the pitch, has settled in well with his new teammates and is already forming close friendships with a few of the Lichfield players.

"They (the squad) couldn't have made it more comfortable for me from the start, they've been brilliant," Lewis enthused. "There were a bit of nerves at the start but they've been class with me."

As mentioned, the sheer speed of his adaptation to a league he has never played in before has, at times, been remarkable.

Some of the other senior members of the squad have privately expressed their surprise too with some even wondering if Lichfield can keep a hold of the young midfielder come the end of the season.

"It's a big step up for me but, to be fair, I think, after a nervy start, I'm getting into a rhythm now and finding my feet too."

If the young midfielder continues his fine performances, he could be a crucial cog for Green's side going forward as they chase promotion.

Another player whom Green and Chapman have spoken about in high regard is 17-year-old forward Jude Taylor.

The striker was brought into the first team and, despite his limited first-team involvement, has already left a mark on the coaching staff and his chances could be set to increase over the coming months.

The young forward has pace, guile and is keen to learn, which are things that Green loves in his players. 

The enigmatic manager has spoken in the past about his excitement of working with young players due to his ability to mould the talent to how he wants them to play.

In his first interview since joining the club, Taylor, who was understandably nervous, gave an insight into what the coaching staff has told him and his meteoric rise through the ranks.

"To be honest with you, they just tell me to run around and enjoy myself which makes things easier for me," Taylor said. "That's all I can do really and just to try and score as many goals as possible and just try and make a difference for the side."

During our chat, it was quite clear that the teenager was rather nervous about being interviewed and admitted he felt the same tension when he was meeting the team for the first time.

"Nerves got the better of me to start off with," the 17-year-old said. "The lads in the dressing room try and guide me and try and talk to me which helps.

"They've given me the confidence that I've needed to try and show the manager what I can offer to the team."

It's now becoming undeniable that Green is building an exciting squad and it is players like Lewis and Taylor who will seemingly be pillars of this squad for years to come.

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