I arrived about 10:30 in plenty of time to catch the 11am kick off and took in the under15s game beforehand which unfortunately ended in defeat for the young Trojans. 10:30 soon turned into 11:30am and it became apparent that the under 18s were not kicking off at 11am.
I had however spotted the under 18s manager Joe Tomlinson putting up the nets, Andy Hill marking out the lines, and Jordan Burrow fresh from scoring for Gateshead in the conference the day before setting up the warm up cones, so I wandered over to ask what time their game was actually starting, which, was 1pm – yep that’s right some three and a bit hours after the three of them had arrived to prepare for their match and I imagine it’s a similar story with the rest of the superb junior managers we have at this club.
To cut a long story short I walked home to kill a bit of time and then back again in time for the 1pm kick off. Where the visitors, fourth placed AFC Dronfield, put up a decent fight early on but couldn’t get past the impressive central defensive pairing of Will Pattison and Cullen Tebb, and once Daniel Shelbourne had given the Trojans the lead mid-way through the first half there was no looking back… with Shelbourne adding another three, Aiden Barker two with Elliott Barnard and substitutes Callum Wells and Kyle Butterworth grabbing one a piece in a comfortable 9-1 victory.
and I caught up with Manager Joe Tomlinson after the game….
So 9-1 Joe you must be pleased with that?
|Yes, of course though 9-1 sounds like we dominated I thought the Dronfield lads deserved a lot of credit for giving it a go and not giving up throughout the game. We had to be good defensively at times today and thankfully we were, I thought James Hewison in goal had a great game with some top drawer saves especially the one in the first half when he dived at the feet of their forward and got clattered.
We always keep the same routine before a game despite who we play. Me and Jord drill in good habits on and off the field to prepare them for the next step. The lads did well today, the way we tried to play football on a cut up pitch was positive. The only disappointment was Kyle getting injured from a bad challenge which the ref sorted, but that's football.
That was the thirteenth win of the season, a massive turnaround from last seasons problems how have you done it?
I wasn’t involved with the team back then so I won’t comment on what went wrong but it wasn’t ideal starting with a blank sheet of paper as usually there's players from last season who are still eligible and it’s just a case of adding players to the squad, thankfully though for every player that doesn’t want to play for Staveley at whatever age group there are two or three that do, so in preseason trials we picked those that we felt would develop into a team and thankfully its worked!
But even though winning games is great, its not the sole reason we’re involved and its great to see the likes of Daniel Shelbourne, Elliott Barnard, Sam Ogden and Jason Carter involved with the under21s and reserve teams and we hope as the season progresses they’ll get some more game time with the more senior teams.
What we have this season is a mix of eight first years and eight second years. I'm really pleased with the lads how they have committed to myself and Jord. We have a great team relationship, which counts for a lot at this age. You’re always in with a chance if you have lads who are willing to listen and learn which they do. So I thank them for that. As I've already mentioned we've been doing well, we just concentrate on the next game, and keep our attitude and standards high. The lads know myself and Jord won't let them drop.
And finally Joe with the division three league title all but wrapped up thoughts must be turning to next season...what are you planning?
To be honest I've not really thought about next season. We've not won anything yet. We have four tough games, which will take a game at a time. Obviously player requirement is important and I've been fortunate to have players/parents contact me regarding next season. However what happens next season, I don't know? I'll be progressing eight lads up to the under 21s/reserves. And left with eight lads who will have another year with the under 18s. I've already mentioned the player requirement has started.
When Terry offered me and Jord the job, he knew we had ambition and wanted to develop lads on throughout the club. We will have a managers meeting at the end of the season, and decide what happens from here. Whilst I have this opportunity, I would like to thank the parents, supporters, current managers and especially Andy Hill for the support to myself and Jord. We have four matches left, and I know the lads are keen to set out what we wanted to achieve.
I know I'm part of a great club here at Staveley MW, myself and Jord will keep working hard to achieve the success we want!
Joe Tomlinson SMWFC….
Remaining Fixtures: Subject to change
12th February v Bramley Sunnyside JFC - Away
19th February v Dinnington Town - Home
26th February v Porter JFC - Away
19th March v Worsborough Bridge Athletic - Away
Good luck lads!