Saturday 5th January 2019
Great Horwood v Stoke Hammond BT
North Bucks League Premier Division
Great Horwood hope to resume their league campaign on Saturday when they host Stoke Hammond at Castle Fields and look to start using some of their games in hand on those above them to climb the North Bucks & District Football League Premier Division table, however their three league fixtures scheduled for January are against three of the top four sides. Horwood have played just three league games since the beginning of October which leaves them with a backlog to catch up on, they have games in hand on all seven teams above them in the league and still have cup competitions to navigate so any bad weather would hamper their season even further! Last time out they lost to Hanslope in the Premier Division cup, however two thumping wins previous to that saw them score ten with just a singular reply, time for some momentum to build…..
This week Sports Shots caught up with defender Stuart Parker to ask how long he has been at the club, and how he ended up there in the first place:
I joined the club at the start of the 2013/14 season. After playing at Thornborough for a number of years the club folded due to many players moving away, Sam (Archer) was messaging me non-stop asking me to join Horwood so eventually I gave in! I was already captain of the cricket team so knew a lot of the lads already, it’s a great club with a great bunch of lads, we all get on well and have managed to win a few trophies along the way
How good a season has Stuart had so far?
Fitness hasn’t been too bad this season surprisingly and I have only missed games due to cricket or holidays, all at the beginning of the season. Performance wise I would have liked a few more clean sheets, it has been a difficult season to get into though with so many Saturdays without fixtures
How good is the Horwood squad this year, and have any players impressed?
On paper we have a very good squad for this level, however you can only judge on results and they haven’t reflected that to date. Over the last couple of seasons I have struck up a good centre back partnership with Army (Adam Armitage), he makes my job easier by doing most of the marking and running!!!!
Two wins before cup defeat last time out, how have these three games been?
Wing was one of our best performances of the season, we created lots of chances and were clinical early on which is something we haven’t done in a number of games which has proven costly. Deanshanger was another convincing win, we missed chance after chance in the first half but managed to get the goals in the second half. Hanslope was disappointing, again we missed a lot of chances and should have had the game won early on, to their credit they hung in and made us pay after the break
We asked Stuart what he expects from Stoke Hammond this weekend:
After three weeks without a game it will be nice to just get back playing, I’m sure fitness and match sharpness won’t be at its highest after the festive period but it’ll be the same for them too. They are not a side we are too familiar with over the past few seasons but they are having a decent season so I’m sure it’ll be a tough game, as most are in this division. However, at home we just try to concentrate on ourselves and play our own game
How will the big backlog of games affect the squad going forward?
We just need to try and get a run going, we have only played nine league games to date! The league looks very unlikely for us now but if we can get some momentum by playing week after week hopefully we can finish in the top three and possibly pick up a couple more trophies along the way
So which of the two sports will Stuart give up first?
I said last season was going to be my last in football but here I am, so who knows; It certainly gets tougher as you hit your mid-thirties! Cricket on the other hand you can play a little later into your life
Finally we asked Stuart if he could play any other position for Horwood then where and who would he replace?
There’s been a few times this season when I’ve wished I was a twenty-five year old striker again! I would also happily take the gloves from Macca (Ian McStraw) when he stands rooted to his goal line!
Sports Shots would like to thank Stuart for his time this week