Saturday 18th August 2018
Coleshill Town v Aylesbury
Southern League Division One East
Aylesbury FC start their 2018/19 campaign on Saturday with the seventy-six mile trip to Coleshill Town, one of the many new teams The Moles will face this season after the non-league restructuring this summer. A much publicised ‘club in crisis’ towards the end of last season has seen many changes in the past few weeks, on & off the pitch, but now under new stewardship and management the club are hoping they can finally find some consistency & regularity to see the club through to better times.
This week Sports Shots caught up with new manager Scott Reynolds to see how life has been since accepting the job:
Hectic to say the least!! I took the job two days before my two week holiday in Florida and since then I have not had a day off, or five minutes to myself. I was well aware of the task ahead when accepting the job, but nobody could have predicted how the last few weeks would have gone. It would have taken a manager with a huge budget and a whole team to come in to solve the issues overnight, which for me is just not the case. We have only three players remaining at the football club from the sixty odd used at Aylesbury FC last season. That said, despite some up and down results in preseason, we are very pleased with the squad going into Saturday and will continue to work hard to add the right types of quality and personnel to the squad as the season takes shape. The door is always revolving in non-league football that’s for sure, added to that I am brutally honest, but I don’t burn my bridges with players too early, so who knows what may happen in the next few weeks and months!
So how have the pre-season fixtures been for the new look squad:
Up and down to be fair, we’ve played ten, including an in house training game, and won 4 but lost 6. Way too many games and way too many weeks of training and preparation in my opinion. The attitude and commitment, to my methods and ideas, from the majority has been superb, and despite some of what I am looking for being clearly the opposite to what players have experienced here in the past, we have now managed to identify a squad that we are happy to start the season with. Our best performance in pre-season was the 3-0 win against Oxford United U23. We matched them tactically, beat them physically and took our chances that night. Since then the team has changed, trialists have come and go, we picked up loads of injuries, had to put up with holidays, players coming and players going and only in the last ten days do we feel settled and united again. If we can perform to the levels we reached against Oxford Utd week in week out we will do well, of that I am certain!
So where does Scott feel he is at in terms of his squad:
We are happy, for me it’s all about attitude and for now I am prepared to allow ability to come secondary. I want players who are prepared to work their nuts off in training and in games, you can have a bad game with the ball, but you cannot have a bad game without it!! For those who know me, I deal in facts. I want players who have achieved previously or played at this level or higher on a regular basis. I don’t need players who think the game owes them something, when in fact they have achieved very little to date. I have learnt a lot as a manager of the past year or two. Get the basics right, be honest and approachable and work hard. I expect the players to give me the same and would never ask for anything I, or my staff, are not prepared to give them back in return
So what is a realistic ambition for Scott this season?
To be competitive and proud every time we wear the shirt. We are under no illusions, there are teams with better players than us, bigger budgets than us and the task ahead is no easy one. That said I want work rate, passion, hard work and commitment. We need to be known as a difficult team to play against, hard to beat and a group that works hard for every point we earn. If someone could offer me a mid-table finish now, I would take it. However, we will set small and realistic targets each week / month and see where the season takes us
So two really tough games to start the season with, what do Aylesbury expect?
I do my homework, I have had Coleshill watched and know that this game will be tough. Added to the quality of the opposition they are also at home, with the advantage of a 3G plastic pitch – not my preference, give me grass and mud any day. We then host AFC Dunstable who finished 4th last season on Tuesday night, and they will want to improve that finish this time around. Tough start as you say, but there are no freebie points at this level and every game will be difficult. I just want teams to be able to think the same about us when they look at their fixture lists
And finally, what games is Scott looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to managing in the FA Cup again, and on the back of a great FA Vase run last year, I look forward to a crack at the FA Trophy, however easy to say I am excited for all of them. We’re looking forward to getting some home games under our belt and proving to the people of Aylesbury and the supporters, or doubters, of me and the club that we are going to be much improved on previous seasons. I will let our results do the talking, and all though it may take time for our team to gel and for us to find our feet at this level, this is a marathon not a sprint.
Obviously, all our fans want us to beat and finish above Aylesbury Utd. They are on the back of a very successful end to last year and have an incredibly settled side. I am good friends with Ben Williams and look forward to that game. However, there are now a number of more local games and we have a lot of football to play prior, so one game at a time and let’s give it our best each week.
On behalf of my management staff, I must also put on record our thanks to Tony Masella, Steve McDonald, Mike Farquharson, Christine Martone, Rosanna Martone and all the club’s volunteers behind the scenes. The support and atmosphere behind the scenes has been incredibly refreshing for me personally. These people deserve to enjoy football again, and that is something we intend to sort out immediately with a fresh start and a new season on the horizon.
Come on you Moles !!
Sports Shots would like to thank Scott for his time this week