ALTHOUGH his knee injury has yet to be fully diagnosed, there are fears that skipper Ian Kearney could miss the rest of the season.

The 27-year-old central defender sustained the injury in the 2-1 defeat of Rhyl and the Wingmakers' director of football Andy Preece believes he will be impossible to replace.

Preece described his captain as the most important player in the league already this season: "There aren’t too many like him," Preece told the Leader.

"He is a leader, not only in the way that he plays but also vocally. You don’t seem to get both now. Players tend to be quieter for whatever reason."

Former Newtown utility man Andy Jones partnered Mike Pearson in the centre of defence against Cefn Druids and earned the praise of Preece.

"He stepped up to the plate. "We knew when we signed him we had someone to play alongside Kearney or instead of him and we knew he could play with or instead of Chris Budrys.

"He has always done well for us and he responded well last weekend against Druids."

Kearney was club captain at Northwich Victoria before following Preece to the Hollingsworth Group Stadium in the summer of 2012 and has been a key factor in the club's rise to clinch a European place in two consecutive seasons, scoring 11 goals from his 64 Welsh Premier appearances.

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