Friday 16th August 2019
Buckingham Athletic Development v Ardley United
Bluefin Sports (UHL) Challenge Cup
(Last season’s) League standings:
Spartan South Midlands Development League (9 teams)
Buckingham Athletic 1st
Hellenic League Premier Division (19 teams)
Ardley United 17th
This game last season:
Last four games:
Buckingham Athletic Development:
W 2-0 home v Holmer Green Development 4th May SSMFL
W 3-1 home v Kempston Rovers Development 27th April SSMFL
W 1-3 away v Leighton Town Development 24th April SSMFL
W 1-0 home v Biggleswade United Development 20th April SSMFL
W 3-1 home v Leverstock Green 13th August FA Cup
D 1-1 away v Leverstock Green 10th August FA Cup
D 1-1 home v Brackley Town Saints 6th August HL
W 2-1 home v Bishops Cleeve 3rd August HL
Following the demise of the Spartan South Midlands Football League Development league at the end of last season, Buckingham Athletic Development have joined the Hellenic League in Division Two North, and ahead of their season opener Sports Shots caught up with Athletic manager Jake Honor to ask if he got much time in the summer away from the game?
I know the time between seasons is supposed to be time to rest however I can’t seem to do that; the moment the season ends I miss it and can’t wait for preseason to begin. However, those couple of weeks are valuable as it gives me a chance to discuss the squad and which players I’d like to bring to the club and what both Griff (Neil Griffiths – Ath 1st team manager) and Paul (Bevis – Ath U18 manager) have planned for the season
When did pre-season training begin, and how were the first couple of sessions in terms of numbers and commitment?
We started pre-season in the last week of June and numbers have been relatively good throughout. Pre-season is a challenging time due to different commitments and holidays, so I’ll be looking forward to the season starting and the summer holidays coming to an end
How has it been signing on players, and have they lost many that have depleted any plans?
There have been some changes in the squad this summer as some players have moved on to different clubs or left for personal reasons. However, it is the signings this year that i have been very pleased with, I have been able to bring in Tom Marshall, Sol Janecki and George Ford back to the club and I’m also very pleased to welcome Ashley Thompson, Conor Roberts, Mason Luya and James Hackett to the Ath for the first time. Scott Latham has also signed for us this season however he picked up an injury in our final friendly and is now out for a couple of months, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we see him back in the shirt
How have pre-season games been in terms of results & performances?
We have had seven games this pre-season, winning four, drawing once and losing twice, we started slowly but started to pick up after the third game and we have been very good ever since. We didn’t score in the first three games, however as soon as the first goal went in, they’ve been flowing ever since, and we have scored thirty-two goals in the final four games. There is however always room for improvement and that’s what these friendlies are for, making sure anything that needs fixing is done before the season begins
Are there players yet to sign on, or are they squad ready?
In terms of the development squad everybody is signed on and ready for the season ahead. Over the next couple of weeks, I do plan on signing on players from the under eighteen side so that during the season some of those boys can experience and take the step up into adult football
First game of the season this Friday, has Jake got much info on Ardley?
I don’t think we could’ve started the season in a more challenging way, we have been drawn against Ardley from the Premier division, so we know exactly the size of the challenge that awaits us on Friday night. However, we have absolutely nothing to lose from this game and I do quite enjoy the underdog status, it’s what cup football is all about
At this early stage, what are the targets for the first few games?
In terms of cup football, I have no expectations. I want the lads to enjoy themselves against opponents like Ardley and then Milton United in a few weeks’ time who are both in higher divisions, however the league is our priority and what we need to focus on this season. Being new to the league we need to make sure our expectations are realistic but from recent results and what I have been told about teams in this league, we seem to have a pretty tough first few weeks. I feel by the end of September I will have a much better idea on where we should be and what we will be aiming for come the end of the season
Finally, are there any games they are looking forward to?
I’m hopefully going to enjoy every game this season but in particular these cup matches. It’s a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against very strong opponents and as I said earlier, to go through as underdogs would be a great feeling!
Sports Shots would like to thank Jake for his time this week