Saturday 9th February 2019
Ampthill Town v Buckingham Athletic
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Ampthill Town start life under new manager Paul Blackman on Saturday as they welcome Buckingham Athletic to Ampthill Park for what will be a stern test against the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One seventh placed side, but it’s a new start for Town after Paul Toms resigned after two back to back defeats against Winslow a fortnight ago and the opportunity to kick start their season under the new gaffer. Town have won just twice in their last eleven in all competition, but have beaten higher place sides this season at home so this will be no stroll for the visitor’s and Town only need a couple of back to back victories to push them into mid table from where they can build going into their final third of the season, but this will be a real tough start as the host the side that currently boast the joint fourth best number of away wins in the league this campaign, the joint fourth least amount of goals conceded away from home, joint seventh best number of goals scored away from home, and have won four and drawn one of their last six away league games, but as this league continues to prove, anyone can beat anyone!
This week Sports Shots caught up with Ampthill duo Jamie Cerminara & Louie Dillon, and asked the latter when he joined the club, and how it’s been since:
I started at Ampthill playing in the under eighteen floodlit league at fifteen years old. I got given my first chance in the first team at sixteen and I’ve played here ever since, it’s a great club for bringing young players through the different youth & development squads. I’ve played in the first team ever since that first game at sixteen and have enjoyed it the whole time I’ve been here
Jamie has also been at the club a while:
This is my third season at Ampthill now, before that I was playing locally in the Bedfordshire league for Marston. I was there for six years so thought I’d have a go at playing in the league above, and Ampthill had asked me to come over and I’ve been here since. Gaz (Gary Maidment) the chairman and all the lads made me feel welcome from the minute I came over, so that side of things was really easy
How does Jamie feel his season has been thus far?
This season has been a difficult one for me personally as I’ve missed quite a few games through injury and suspension. So I haven’t contributed to the team as much as I would have liked
Louie has also had a disrupted campaign:
At the start of the season I felt I was the fittest I had been for a long time, I had a strong start and was available for every game, I contributed all over the pitch playing in various different positions and learning different roles. I then missed three months through illness which really halted my season and was tough to deal with as I felt I was playing really well. I got myself back to some sort of fitness over Christmas and was available again for the first game in January. Since then I’ve started nearly every game and have been getting my fitness back and playing well. I know I can contribute more to the team going forward and hope that I can bring that side of my game into the second half of the season
We asked Louis how strong he feels the Town squad is this season and which players have impressed?
We have one of the strongest squads I’ve been a part of at Ampthill this year, we are a very young team with some experienced heads but all over the pitch we have great players. The one thing we need to work on as a squad is to start games stronger, we are very much a second half team and we often start games slowly. Brad Clarke has always been a standout player and every year he continues to surprise me, he can single handedly get you a goal out of nothing and can produce magic on the pitch. Glenn Cooksley has really impressed me aswell, he’s got that engine and drive to never give up no matter what that you need in a team and he is a big voice in our squad. He never stops working and will always give his all on the pitch
Jamie has been impressed with the Ampthill goal keeper this season:
I think the squad we have this year is a lot better than our league position would suggest. Josh Thompson our keeper has impressed me a lot this season, he’s come up with a lot of very good saves this year!
What position and formation does Jamie feels best suits him?
My preferred position is as a striker, the formation I personally like is either four-two-three-one or old school four-four-two
Louie prefers a midfield berth:
My favourite position is central midfield, I enjoy contributing at both ends of the pitch and I feel that playing there I get the most out of myself as a player. I’ve played in almost every position this year and enjoyed them all but playing in the middle of the park is my preferred position. My favourite formation is four-two-three-one, I like the way you can press using this formation and how you can always seem to have players in the right places when defending or attacking, I think it really suits our squad
How does Louis view the departure of former manager Paul Toms?
Losing Paul Toms was a massive loss at this stage of the season, I understand his reasons for leaving and taking on the new challenge and I can only wish him the best of luck in his new role. The targets are now to build for next year and move up the league as far as we can, it would be great to get top ten and I feel with how consistent the squad is now that we can easily do this
Jamie agrees that the squad need to push on now for the remainder:
It’s never ideal to lose a manager half way through a season but it is what it is. We haven’t had a game since Paul left so we shall see if any of the other lads jump ship…… but as for the rest of the season, we’ve just got to try and get as many points as we can now and push up the table
How does Jamie view the draw at Risborough, home win over Hatfield and two recent defeats to Winslow?
I wasn’t involved in the game at Risborough, but I thought against Hatfield we were good, it is always nice to score a few goals as a team and get a clean sheet. Both games against Winslow were always going to be tough they’re a good side and are where they are for a reason
Louie feels the recent form has showed some character in the squad:
Since Christmas we have really come together as a squad and started playing for each other. The results against Risborough and Hatfield showed what we can do as a team and that when we play our game we can get the results. The Risborough game was a good battle and for long periods of the game I thought we would go on to score the winning goal. Both the Winslow games were very tough as they are a very good team, I feel we played well in both games but we didn’t do enough going forward in either games to worry them
How does Louie view this week’s game at home to Buckingham Athletic?
They have been a strong team over the last few years who we have struggled against previously. If we play our game and as a team I believe we can beat anyone in this league, we have a strong squad available and I think we can get a good result this weekend
Jamie isn’t that familiar with Athletic:
To be fair I don’t know too much about them but I’m sure like every game in this league it will be a tough one. Fingers crossed we will get the three points
Finally, we asked Jamie if he could pick any team mate to go on any television programme, who and what would he pick and why?
I’d have to pick Ash Higgins and I’d have him on The Chase. His all-round knowledge is second to none, so I’d tip him to do really well on there!
Louie picked Jamie for his:
If I could choose a player to go on any programme it would have to be Jamie Cerminara and I’d have him on any game show. People would pay good money to watch him hurl abuse and run his mouth at people like Noel Edmunds just because he got one answer wrong
Sports Shots would like to thank Jamie & Louie for their time this week