Saturday 15th September 2018
Buckingham Athletic Development v AFC Santander
Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup 1st Round
Buckingham Athletic development host AFC Santander on Saturday in the first round of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup and look to continue their excellent start to their season that has seen two wins out of two with eleven goals scored and just one conceded. Sitting top of the Spartan South Midlands U25 development league as one of only two teams with one hundred percent records, attention turns to the county cup, and in North Bucks Intermediate side Santander face a team that have only failed to score in one of their six league games to date.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Ath manager Jake Honor to find out what’s attributed to their good start:
We started the league fixtures a fortnight ago however our season started way back at the end of June, and our players over the past eight or nine weeks have shown great commitment & hard work in training, and also during the eight pre-season games we played. So I’d have to put our good start to the season down to good preparation
What new signings have the club made?
We had a number of new players join us this summer and it’s been really pleasing to see them mix and fit in really well with the returning players. We had three join us from Winslow, Olly Golding, Harry Heritage & Charlie Willis, and then Kieran Brady, Matt Bradbury, Jamie O’Hara & Tom Summers have all signed on too. We have also had Spencer Beaumont join us as assistant manager, it’s valuable to the existing back room staff as well as to the players to have another viewpoint and pair of hands around the team
Has Jake had much interaction with new first team manager Neil Griffiths?
Neil & I have talked a lot over the past couple of months and our conversations have always been very productive, obviously it’s always hard coming into a club as a new manager so I’ve been happy to help Neil where needed and to give him another opinion on various things
With such a small division this year, how will the team keep themselves busy?
Unfortunately a number of teams did withdraw from the league for this season which is a shame, however we are hoping to have good cup campaigns, the league cup has home and away legs in every round and then the county cup which obviously starts this week. If we can keep ourselves in these competitions for as long as possible then I don’t think there will be many Saturdays that we’ll have spare
Who do Athletic see as their biggest rivals this time around?
It’s hard to judge this early on, but I’m sure Dunstable will be around the top of the table however I think our main rivals will be Leighton Town. They’ve had two good wins to start their season, over Dunstable & Kempston so I’m looking forward to coming up against them as they’re now our most local away game too!
How dangerous is it too under estimate sides from the North Bucks league in these competitions?
It’s very easy to under estimate these teams but it’s something that we will not do, the players know this and we have trained well to prepare exactly the same as we would for a league game. Cup football is the perfect place for underdogs and as we saw last weekend, teams from the North Bucks are more than capable of beating sides from the South Midlands
How much does Jake know about their opponents?
I have come across Santander a couple of times in the past, mostly from my time at Grendon Rangers reserves a couple of seasons ago. Obviously a lot can change in that time but they were a physical team back then and I’m sure they will be the same this time round
Finally, we asked just how hard is it to attract players to U25 development football?
Being under twenty-five myself and from the local area has definitely helped me in recruiting enough players that fit the age quote. This season we only have three players in the development squad that are over twenty-five and the other nineteen or so players are all under so in that sense I’ve found player recruitment quite easy. I feel being of a similar age to the players helps as I can relate to them a lot easier than maybe an older manager would.
I’d like to finish by thanking Sports Shots for all the work they do in the local area and for local sport, it is really appreciated by everyone here at The Ath!
Sports Shots would like to thank Jake for his time this week