Saturday 17th November 2018
Mursley United v Old Bradwell United
Spartan South Midlands Division Two
The Playing Field
Mursley United host Old Bradwell on Saturday in a game which sees the Spartan South Midlands League Division Two third placed side welcome eleven consecutive wins under their belts Old Bradwell who oddly sit ninth in the table having only played five league games to date. Their wins are obviously mostly from cup competitions which sees them still in every competition they entered at the start of the season, and if they win their games in hand on those above would comfortably sit top of the pile, so a tough test for Mursley as they look to put some pressure on Bovingdon & Berkhamsted Raiders who are the only two teams above them going into this week-ends round of fixtures.
Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with Mursley keeper Dan Willett, and firstly midfielder Tom Brazier to ask him when he joined the club and how he feels the squad is this year:
I joined at the start of this season and this is my second spell at the club, having played for them a couple of seasons ago. I am enjoying my time at the club and I believe we have a great squad this year capable of challenging at the top end of the league
Dan also joined this summer:
I only joined Mursley this season from New Bradwell St Peter, formerly Loughton Manor. Jamie (Green) messaged me to see if I fancied moving over, things weren’t quite right at my previous club and there seemed to be a good squad here and it’s always a nice pitch to play on. I seem to have settled in well here and have been very well looked after by the committee and management, I feel we have a good tight nit squad now and with a couple of additions we could be right up there
Which players have impressed the keeper so far?
Nathan Skelton has been superb for us this season, scoring twenty goals already which is definitely what you need if you’re going to be up there. Michael (Joseph) at centre back is the calmest man I have ever played football with, and also the best centre back I’ve ever played with
Tom agreed on the striker nomination:
Stand outs so far this season have been Nathan Hawkins, Jamie Green & Nathan Skelton. Nathan has been very solid defensively for us at either centre half or right back, Jamie breaks up the play and gets the ball forward very well for us, whilst Skelly has already scored a brilliant amount of goals for us to win games this season. But everyone in the squad has contributed well, leaving us in quite a strong league position
What is Tom’s position in the team and who are his role models?
My preferred position is probably left wing, this suits me well being left footed but I am also comfortable on the right wing or upfront. Famous footballers I look up to are Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard, who are good on the ball and create something out of nothing, I am looking to create and score goals in a similar style to this type of player
Dan looks a little closer to home for his inspiration:
I have always played in goal since I was six years old, I did give up when I was about fifteen until I joined Old Bradwell when I was nineteen. I suppose my dad really is my mentor, he was the one who got me in to football when I was young, and he doesn’t miss many of my games
We asked the shot stopper how high he feels the club can finish and who their main rivals would be:
I think we could be right up there at the end of the season, we probably need another goal scorer and a central midfielder to sure things up, but we certainly have decent enough squad now to challenge for the top. Old Bradwell will be right up there this season and they are a real force, Bovingdon have started really well but their discipline could be a problem for them, then the usual sides like Aston Clinton will be a challenger
Tom echoed those comments:
Ideally I would like to finish in the top three this season and I believe that is realistic with the level of player and management we have at this club. Our main rivals will be Bovingdon who have started well, Old Bradwell & Aston Clinton who I would not be surprised to see climb the table
A surprise defeat at Sarratt last week saw a first league defeat in five, how did Tom view the game?
It was very frustrating to lose as we felt that was a winnable game, and a great opportunity to keep our momentum going. The game was played in poor conditions due to heavy rain which I feel affected the game, we started poorly which saw us two goals down and this lost us the match, it was a shame not to get something after a much improved second half
Dan blamed the pitch and also a decision going against the defence:
We lost last week on a pitch that can only be described as a lake, there were puddles all over the pitch where we just couldn’t pass the ball like we normally would. We were also done by the officials not giving a clear offside for their first goal, which frustrated us and we switched off which led to their quick fire second
Out of all cup competitions now, does the keeper see this as a good thing?
We are out of all of them now which is disappointing, we would have liked to have progressed in a couple of them, but it could be a blessing to us, leaving us to just concentrate on our main goal and get promoted at the end of the season
It’s slightly disappointing to not have a cup run but the league is our main focus so hopefully we can make the most of being able to concentrate on the league
Old Bradwell are the form team of the division, how does Tom view the game ahead?
I am expecting a very tough game on Saturday in what should be a close game. I don’t know too much about them but we need to focus on playing well & hopefully this will be enough for the three points. We have been working hard in training and have been in good form excluding the Sarratt game
Being a former player Dan knows what they are all about”
Old Bradwell have started really well this year and it was only a matter of time really before they started to click. Playing there for four years I know almost all the players & what they are capable of, they have quality all over the pitch and we are all aware that they will be dangerous going forward
Rounding up, we asked Dan what he thinks has been his and his sides best game of the season so far:
I think my, and the team’s best game this year was the one against Winslow United in the cup, we played well and took the game to them to the last few minutes, it took a great save from their keeper to keep the score at three-two. Putting eight past Clean Slate always looks great as well.
I would like to thank Paul Warnecki for the gloves for the season so far, and the continued support that Sports Shots gives to the local non-league clubs around the area
Tom picked a different memory:
I would say our best game was the five-one win over Unite MK where we looked very good going forward. Personally, this was also a good game for me, getting a goal and a few assists!
Sports Shots would like to thank both Dan & Tom for their time this week