When Brett returned he promised me he would revive his infamous blog. He could not guarantee it would be quite as frequent but it is always well worth the wait. This instalment looks at how the squad has changed since the start of the season and how the new signings have improved our results. Needless to say Brett gives his own unique opinions on the current squad – Roy.
Roy has been asking me to get another blog out and I finally gave in. Let’s be honest I didn’t have much to write about at the start of the season!!
Since my last write up things have improved massively. I like to think that Welwyn away was the low point. We had hit rock bottom. That’s no slur on Welwyn but getting beat 5 zip to a team from the league below and possibly they were unlucky not to get 8 is bad. Really bad. We were young, naive, lacking leadership, had no threat going forward and were not prepared to throw ourselves on the line in defence.
We allowed ourselves to get beaten up and gave up with a whimper. This was not something that myself, Burkey or Parks wanted to be associated with. It was time to get the black books out and start getting in some tried and tested players.
Most people know I have a close relationship with Ben Waister (Belly). I took him to Biggleswade last year and he was superb for us. He’s come back and done really well. He has put in some top performances.
Burkey has always been a big admirer of Steve Cawley. He wanted him to replace me in his side for years. Finally that option became available and he joined from Hemel Hempstead.
He was followed by Jhai Dhillon (JD), Alex Marsh (Marshy), Bradley Bell (Ding Dong) and the return of the Camel (Lewis Rolfe). These were 5 lads who know this level and were capable of making us better. This proved correct as we suddenly looked harder to beat. We have even scored more than one goal in a game!!!
JD is a player who against us over the years has been a target for some of us… myself included. He loves putting himself about, winding up the opposition and generally getting under your skin. You meet the lad and he is nothing like that – he is a good player and top lad. Marshy is another one who once you play against him you realise you want him in your team. He is Ron Weasley on steroids. What a body!! He is another lad who has come in and settled straight away. Ding Dong has given us balance and a workrate we didn’t have earlier in the season. I told Burkey he would be a real goal threat. So far that has not panned out, but it will.
Of all the new arrivals Camel was the one I was most dubious about. I have said previously that football is cyclical and sometimes players need moving on. When Burkey broke up the play-off side a couple of years ago he was right in letting me, Belly & Camel go along with Jonny McNamara, Callum Donnelly, Lucas Kirkpatrick and Matt Lench. It was the right time. Camel had become too comfortable and wasn’t showing what a good player he was. After a year or so away for me he has changed for the better. He can give you that calmness on the ball as well as workrate and the tough tackling a midfielder should have.
Just remember though Camel, probation never ends… you are still on trial!
The other lads have been lifted by the new signings. Charlie is playing as well as I have seen him, while Egghead (Josh Bickerstaff) and Dave (Dan Webb) now look to have settled down.
Little Dave (Jack Green) is finally fit and playing like the teenager I remember. LB (Lewis Barker) and Potton Eye Joe (Joe Gauge) have stepped up to this level and look to be finding their feet. LB has been particularly impressive given that he is the worst trainer I have ever seen, as well as being the worst dressed human I have ever seen!
We have Max Ryan, James Verney, Marcus Crowther, Theo Reed, Dev Simms and Josh Mollison waiting in the wings. All these young lads are now able to learn from the experienced players we have in our dressing room. Not all of it is good mind you but I will leave that to your imagination. We’ve even made Marshy blush a few times!
We should not forget we have Layne Eadie to return and he will hopefully be available again around Christmas time.
We have another couple of new lads, Shaq (Shaquille Ishmael & Kai (Kai Phelan). We haven’t seen them in action yet but they look like they will add to our squad. Shaq is a pacey winger and it also looks like if you say the wrong thing to him he’ll kill you… nice lad really though. Kai is a centre half who is too good looking to play there. He knows Belly’s sister apparently.
So the squad is coming together. There may be one or two more additions soon – who knows. Football is crazy these days.
As for me, I am loving being back and feel much better now we have now won a few games. It is no fun sitting in the sauna in the local gym or having a pint in town and people asking why we are so bad! The only other down side is getting sent off recently. I didn’t want to bring it up, but it needs sorting. For the record I didn’t stamp on the Bedfont player I just kicked the ball out of his legs. Sadly reputation and my inability to steer clear of these incidents doesn’t help! I am probably too long in the tooth to change. Hopefully I will get a chance to redeem myself at some point this season.
Anyway its just left for me to say thanks for the continued support as it means a lot to us. Sorry we didn’t have any cup run this season but I have a feeling we are going in the right direction and could surprise a few yet.
BY BRETT DONNELLY