MIDFIELDER Chris Cornes is ready to realise his full potential, according to Stourport Swifts boss Neil Hunt.
The 22-year-old made a surprise return to the Walshes Meadow club and played in their 1-0 FA Trophy loss to Hungerford Town on Saturday.
Cornes played for Stourport last season but left the club in the summer and joined Worcestershire rivals Evesham United.
However, he returned to the club after failing to settle at the Robins.
“Chris wasn’t enjoying the style of football at Evesham, where they are playing it pretty direct and missing out midfielders,” commented the manager.
“He’s a ball player and needs someone who shares the same feelings about the game as him.
“At the end of last season he told me he was desperate to play at a higher level, so I encouraged him to do so.
“To be fair, he looks like he’s lost a couple of stone and is much sharper.
“I think he knows he’s made mistakes in the past and has come to terms with them and is ready to be the player he is capable of being. He’s a playmaker, he doesn’t track back or run around but his quality on the ball is undeniable.”
Cornes presence could not help Swifts get the better of Southern League West and South rivals Hungerford, as they crashed out of the Trophy at the preliminary round stage.
Jamie Pryce saw a good chance go to waste when he had a penalty saved.
Swifts were stunned in the 70th minute when Steve Cook scored for Hungerford.
Hunt said: “Hungerford are an average side and neither of our keepers were tested by them.
“For their goal we didn’t defend properly and that’s a bitter pill to swallow because we were the better side.
“We’ve also missed a penalty and you get punished when you don’t take your chances.
“Now we’re out of the FA Cup and Trophy and that’s a huge blow, because the club is desperate for the finances a run in these competitions generates.”
Swifts welcome back striker Scott Morris after his three-match ban for Saturday’s Midlands Division One game at home to Aylesbury (3pm kick-off). However, they are still without Andy Jones, Jamie Insall and Wesley Joyce, who all have one match suspensions left to serve.
After Aylesbury, Swifts go to Bedworth United on Saturday, October 17.
With the bottom two coming up in the next two games, Hunt believes this could be a vital period for Swifts.
"We've got the bottom two sides up next and these games will help determine if we're a mid-table side or something more," he added.