Mursley United started the 2018/19 season with a development side for the first time, and after ten games sit in a very respectable sixth place out of twelve teams in the North Bucks & District League Intermediate Division, and whilst the games played for each side range anywhere between seven and thirteen, Mursley sit a healthy ten points off the team immediately below them and just a win off third place. United have won half of their league games to date and have only lost twice although they are yet to meet either of the current top two sides in Buckingham United & Marsh Gibbon.
This week Sports Shots caught up with manager Mitch Toyer to see how things are going so far, and firstly we asked how life at Station Road has been for the new manager and his team:
Things here have been going well, the club is in good shape all over and Alex the chairman along with the first team managers Anthony & Jamie Lands have all been fantastic with everything. Also my assistants Ryan Mellon & Graham Anderson have certainly made my life easier
How is the squad shaping up and is there still room for improvement?
We are in good shape, but we’re always looking to improve obviously. The main aim was to give youngsters a pathway into men’s football, and in our last game against Stony Stratford our average age was twenty-one so we’re certainly doing that. We are also feeding the first team which is rewarding for myself and for the hard work that the lads have been putting in
Is the teams league position a fair reflection on how they have done so far?
I think our league position is fair, we’ve been unlucky at times but we were also beaten fair and square by Bletchley Park who were very good on the day
We asked Mitch how good he thinks this league is and which clubs he has been impressed by:
North Bucks is the same every year so you know what to expect, you get a couple of teams who get the ball down and want to play, then you get the old school approach from others who are more direct. We lost to Wing and Bletchley who were both good on the day, we are yet to play Marsh Gibbon or Buckingham United who will both be good outfits
How difficult is it running a team that doesn’t get to play every week?
The first few months have been tricky for a lot of teams and that can be said for us too, five games in the first two weeks and then we went five weeks without a game! Keeping players interested was tough as there wasn’t much availability for friendlies as most were still in league or cup action. Luckily a few were called up to the first team and that got minutes into them
Where are the team in terms of targets that were set at the start of the campaign?
We wanted to finish in the top three and to be competitive in the cup competitions, we need to put a good run of results together to achieve our league target, and then we face Marsh Gibbon in both cup campaigns so we will need to bring our ‘A’ game to have a chance of progressing
How has it been interacting with the first team?
We have a really good relationship with the first team, it helps having had previous relationships with both Anthony & Jamie in the past. I’ve known Anthony since I was around sixteen years old and I was Jamie’s assistant at Olney Town reserves for the first half of last season. We train together most weeks, which is good for the younger lads who get to play with and learn from the more experienced players that we have at the club
Finally, we asked which game has given Mitch the most pleasure so far this season, and equally the worst?
The victory over Stony stands out for me, the football we played was superb at times. We had spent the Thursday training session working on our defensive shape, and in the second half we executed it perfectly so that was very pleasing, especially with such a young squad as well. Our worse game has to have been Bletchley Park, not only because we were poor but I’ve got a couple of good mates over there and the grief afterwards was unbearable. Hopefully the tables will be turned when we meet again!!
Sports Shots would like to thank Mitch for his time this week