Saturday 12th January 2019
Brackley Town Saints v Tuffley Rovers
Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup
St James Park
Brackley Town Saints return to action for their first game since Boxing Day as they host Tuffley Rovers on Saturday in the Bluefin Sports Supplementary Cup, their first of two cup fixtures in four days and despite their long lay-off still remain top of the Hellenic Football League Premier Division table albeit having to share top spot with Ascot United level on points, but Saints do have five games in hand. Gordon Kille’s men still remain in pole position in the league, Wantage their nearest rivals having played the same amount of games are five points behind, there are teams closer but have all played more games than the men from St James’ Park. Brackley won their two games over Christmas including a ding-dong battle in their local derby at Ardley United, where a last gasp goal saw them emerge victorious by the odd goal in seven, and have done well against Tuffley in recent times having already completed the league double over the Gloucestershire side this season, so go into this fixture confident of progressing to the next round.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Saints defender Olly Goddard to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it’s been so far:
I have been at the club since the beginning of this season, I was looking for a new challenge after getting back from America and playing locally for Middleton Cheney last year so it was refreshing to join such an exciting set up, the season has been going really well since I joined and I feel we have a great chance of going up this year
How good a season does Olly feel he’s had personally?
I think I’ve had a good season so far, obviously I have had a few injury set backs but we have good depth to the squad to cover when I’ve been injured or away, but in the games I’ve been involved in I generally feel I have brought a lot to the team’s performance
How good is this Saints squad this season, and which players have stood out?
The Brackley squad this season is very strong and we have lots of gifted players within it, Ali Worby and James Watts have stood out for me as they always put in great performances and have tremendous ability to go further in the game
With a break from action, does Olly feel this is of benefit to the squad or detrimental to what they want to achieve?
I think the time off has been needed as we had lots of football in the previous months, personally for me it’s been nice to take a step back and re-group ready for a second half of the season push! Overall I think it’s good to have some time off away from the game and then come back to it
Defeat to Bishops Cleeve followed by wins over Longlevens and Ardley in December, how were those games?
The Bishops game was a disappointment for us as a group however I was unavailable for that game, for me the Longlevens game was a formality as I felt we were the stronger side so I expected three points. The Ardley game was a massive statement I feel, to show we could grind out the result in a big local derby just after Christmas, it was pleasing to get the points
Nine out of the next ten Saints games are at home, seven are league games, how important could this be?
St James Park is a fantastic place and a real key to part of the way we want to play the game, so it’s a real positive we have so many games coming up at home, teams find it hard to come to us and match the style that we produce so it does give us a massive edge
We asked Olly how he feels the club would cope should they gain promotion?
I think if we went up as a group we could compete at the next level but to what extent I am unsure, I think we would need to add a goal scorer and a few other players just to give us a real chance
Tuffley this week, Saints have a good record against them this season, what is Olly expecting this time?
I am expecting to win if I’m honest, I know they have a few good results but I feel our squad being where it is right now will be too much for them
Finally, we asked Olly if he could be anyone in the world for twenty-four hours who would he choose?
Lionel Messi for me, he is the greatest player to play the game, I’d love to understand how he sees the game and have the ability he has, and to pull on that Barca shirt
Sports Shots would like to thank Olly for his time this week