Old Bradwell United head to face a Totterhoe side managed by former Buckingham town manager Chris Robson tomorrow (Saturday).
Robson was impressed after watching United defeat high-flying St Neots town reserves on Saturday.
Previewing tomorrow’s game, the Old Bradwell United manager said;
The tough games keep coming after last week’s hard fought but deserved win against a good St. Neots side we travel to take on 3rd placed Totternhoe. Last week was pleasing, our reaction to going a goal down was excellent and despite conceding 2 poor goals I felt we edged the game on chances created and there were some good goals scored in the game.
Totternhoe, for me, represent a far tougher challenge. A little like us last season they have added to their squad well and are rightly up near the top of the Division. We were fortunate to beat them on the first day of the season in what was a decent game of football. After that defeat they won 7 or 8 straight games to put them in the right area of the table, and they haven’t looked back from there.
Saturday’s squad see’s us only having to make 1 change only from last week’s squad with Nick Bardell dropping down to the reserves (childcare issues) and Pete Maddigan coming into the squad after a very lengthy absence.
After Saturday we then travel to Thame on Tuesday so the tough games keep on coming.
Saturday’s squad in full: Alex Feaver, Dan Smith, Dan Willett, Duane Bhasin, Joel Rodwell Bullock, Kieran Perkins, Niall Williams, Pete Maddigan, Peter Bentley, Ross Butler, Shaun Ennis, Steve Gibbons, Tommy Cooke, Zac Ferris
Old Bradwell United with their new strip sponsored by Utilita Energy
Looking at his side’s mid-season viewpoint, United manager Keene said;
Trying to think of a word that describes our season so far; The more positive person in me would settle for inconsistent but the realist will settle for just plain old rubbish.
Whilst we started the season with 5 wins we were never hitting the heights of last season in terms of performance. With the loss of Steve McFadyen (Moved to London), Toby Cribb (moved to Canary islands) and Peter Maddigan (moved up North) that was the loss of three very key players from last season.
On top of that the players who remained, a number maybe felt they were perhaps a little better than what they were and attitudes needed to be reset. For some this has taken much longer than others. In addition we have seen more injuries (long-term ones) than in previous seasons which hasn’t helped. That being said all clubs have this to deal with.
The biggest issue has been consistency of team selection this has not only made it hard for us as first team but also for the reserves who we have had to disrupt considerably. Something we didn’t need to do much last season.
I would also add that I think the standard in Division 2 amongst the top 10 teams is as strong as its been for a number of years which is only to be applauded.
Whilst there have been some good performances we have never been able to put together a decent run of wins, like last season, and lost games we shouldn’t have.
As I mentioned at the start rubbish as a one word summary is pretty accurate but more than 3 years ago this club would have jumped at a chance of a season like this so we have to put things in a little bit of perspective.
I feel it takes, in general, 3 years to build a team at this level, depending on where you start, our 3 year-cycle was up last season and its now up to myself and the management team to go again with the players who wants to be here beyond this season and bringing others in.
In an ideal world we would have added the players we added this year to the same squad as last year, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
One other aspect that does have a factor is playing our home games at Stony. I know the Players, Management and Supporters don’t like it and whilst we are grateful for the lifeline that Stony provided us, Stony is not our home ground and the Football club and Social Club committees need to do more to make sure we return to our normal home ground for the start of next season.
We have some games in hand in the league but we need to show a bit more desire and consistency in our performance, and player availability, to get us going back up the table.
With 7 games in 22 days in February we need players to be somewhere near their top levels as we head into this period.