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The Southern Football League

Manager's Notes with Mark Burke

Friday, July 28 2017


This was a pleasing victory and we looked very good going forward throughout the game. Despite possibly the earliest kick off in our history—10.00am—we soon got in to our stride and dominated the game. I was happy that we scored four goals and I was impressed with our performance.

It was also important to play a second friendly on an artificial surface following our game against Hayes and Yeading on Hendon’s 3G surface as our first league game is on Merthyr’s artificial surface.

It was good to meet up with Luke Gregson and Dean Gilbert and I hope Baldock have a good season.


We welcomed back Connor Roberts, Danny Clifton and Callum Donnelly from their  holidays while Will Wright was available after his Norwich trial had been completed. It was a difficult game against an experienced side who played very good football. It was an excellent playing surface and thanks to ex Canary Mark Ducket for inviting us. We were able to play our football and I was able to make judgements on our trialists.


The first 45 minutes saw us produce our best football of the pre-season so far. It contained the elements I value most highly—a high tempo, a fast pace, slick passing and an exceptional work rate. There were also two good finishes.

Inevitably the second half became scrappy due to the multiple substitutions but I needed to give all the squad playing time. I would like to thank Kwame Ampadu and Ken Gillard for agreeing to bring an Arsenal team to Top Field and the supporters were rewarded with plenty of entertaining football.


The next two games see us playing National South opposition and will give us a good test of where we are in our preparations for the season. Wealdstone are managed by Gordon Bartlett who I have known for 35 years back to my days at Queens Park Rangers.

St Albans is our first competitive game of the season as it is a Herts Charity Cup quarter final. This means only three substitutions while the referee will use yellow and red cards when appropriate. St Albans are managed by Ian Allinson who I have known for 25 years.
We lost in the final of the Charity Cup last season so it would be nice to go one better this season and bring the trophy back to Top Field after a long absence.

Mark was talking with Roy Izzard

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