Thoughts after 10 games
It has been a good start, a solid start, it could’ve been better if we were being greedy. The players and staff have learned a lot very quickly and they’ve had to. The way the league works, it’s very competitive and every team can beat their opponents on any day if they are on it. Overall, it has definitely been a really pleasing start.
I’m not too concerned about league table to be honest, yes we seventh but it is so tight in all areas of the table. Wealdstone are the only team that are really flying and they have made a brilliant start but football is a funny game. It is going to be competitive right through the season, not just for the first month.
I’m confident that we are capable of winning any game every time we step over the white line. I’m pleased we bounced back after two defeats with two tough away games and a win at home on Saturday. The players are learning, the management are learning.
What I would say for sure is that the atmosphere and crowds have been great. The Wealdstone game was a proper game of football, and it’s always a better spectacle when we get an atmosphere and the crowd that day was fantastic and another reminder of the league we are in and how far we have come.
FA Cup Draw
Sholing had a great season in the last campaign, they won the Wessex League. They have an experienced squad and we will be showing them the respect they deserve.
They haven’t had the best of starts in the Southern League Division 1 but it’s the FA Cup and anything can happen. We will be watching their game on Saturday against Cirencester.
Mark ran into them last season with AFC Bournemouth Under 23, so we know a fair bit about them. It’s a free week going into the game so all focus will be on it. We will need to be very professional to get a result.
St Albans City
We played them last twice season in the FA Trophy. We managed to beat them away after drawing at home so they will know a good bit about us as well.
I know it sounds repetitive but they are all tough games in this league and we will have our homework done, using this whole week to prepare.
With all respect to any opponent, I’m genuinely not fazed about going anywhere with this squad. I believe in them and what we do. We will need to be better again to get a result. We had a great night up there last season so let’s get another good result this season.
First and foremost, what a fantastic achievement for Mark to break through and represent his country. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to do that.
When he was with us he had and still has a very bright future in the game and I know it’ll mean a lot to him and his family. It’s also a special moment for us. We didn’t make this happen but played a part in Mark’s rise. Scoring a winning goal at Bishops Stortford two years ago to this tonight.
On the way to Kettering last year, his Bournemouth Premier League debut, the coach was buzzing for him and all the lads will be having a look once they get home from training and realise he’s in the team. On behalf of our club, we are incredibly proud of Mark and we put on record how fortunate we were to have played a small part in what Mark has achieved.
Very clearly it’s a case of using the squad in the best way we can. We said at the start that we would go quite heavy on numbers due to the intensity of the games in short spaces of time. It’s been apparent that we have got a bit tired and leggy over the last few games and one way or another, so far, we have utilised the whole squad.
Ade Olumuyiwa is seen very much as a longer-term project. I went and watched him for Farnborough against Truro in the league below us and he did well. It’s all about competitive games of football and development.
Jordan Ngalo, he travels a long way to play for Weymouth. We ask an awful lot from these lads. He’s a massive part of our plans and he just needed a reboot and a recharge. He is still very young with a lot to learn.
Jack Hoey goes on a month loan to Dorchester for game time and to find his feet for our benefit. Same for Mark Childs, he just needs to be playing. Calum Ward has done well but Mark deserves to be playing games of football but he’s a very important part of our plans. GKs are also on 24-hour callback.
Jordan Rose has left the club through no fault of his own and hasn’t let us down in any way. We were fortunate to get Sam Sherring and Shaun Hobson. Jordan then wasn’t playing quite as much. He will have a good season somewhere else and we thank him for his time and effort and we wish him well.
As a group, we need to think about a bigger picture. We will continue to do everything within the finances of the club. We look at everything which is why we were able to bring in a player like Lionel Ainsworth. The squad as a whole is and will continue to be vitally important.