NBDL; Buckingham defender confident there is plenty of football yet to explore

Saturday 12th January 2019

Mursley United Development v Buckingham United

North Bucks League Intermediate Division

The Playing Field

K.O. 2.00pm

Buckingham United travel to Mursley United development on Saturday looking to carry on where they left off last week at Potterspury reserves where they won by seven goals to three, and put more pressure on Marsh Gibbon who sit one place and three points above United at the top of the North Bucks & District Football League Intermediate Division. The win last week was the first time Buckingham had played since the first of December, and still they remain in second place in the league although Wing Village are the danger team presently as they sit just four points behind with three games in hand, but with still half the season to go there will be lots of twists and turns before the campaign concludes. They face a Mursley side who sit bang on middle in the league after half of their league matches in their first season together, they haven’t played since mid-December themselves, a month which saw the lose twice but also beat Marsh Gibbon on penalties in the inter divisional knockout after a goalless draw, so are more than capable of competing with the top sides in the division.

Tom O’Connell

This week Sports Shots caught up with United defender Tom O’Connell to ask how long he’s been at the club and how he’s found it since joining:

I joined the club midway through the 16/17 season when a few of my mates & I played Sunday league and seven-a-side with some of the lads that were at the club already. It’s always been well organised and had a very good atmosphere, especially in the pub after the games!

What position best suits Tom?

My position this season has been either right or left wing back, but in recent games I’ve filled in as centre-back. I’d say on performances the more defensive roles suit me best but I do enjoy the odd jaunt up the pitch

How does he feel his season has been so far?

I’ve expected a lot more from myself, where I’ve struggled to get back to fitness following an injury last January, keeping me out until April / May time. I keep Saturday’s free for football so my availability is always there, I was unfortunate to pick up a ban which meant I had to miss the big game against Marsh Gibbon

How good is the United squad this season and have any players stood out?

We’ve got a very strong squad and have just been unfortunate with some of our results, but we know we need to finish our season strong. It’s difficult to say which individuals have impressed as we have players all over the pitch who work hard for the team, we’ve got the most goals in the league and currently have the most clean sheets too

With only the win at Potterspury since the beginning of December, we asked Tom to reflect on that game and if the time off affects players?

The first half we created a lot of chances but were a bit slow to react, a change in formation after the break from a four man defence to a three-five-two changed the game completely. We came out and dominated by playing the football we know we can, scoring in quick succession. Of course time off can affect the squad, we just need to keep playing our football in the second half of the season

Away to Mursley development this weekend, what is Tom expecting?

I personally do not know what to expect, we will go in confident but we cannot write off the opposition, they haven’t conceded too many this season, but we need to continue with our winning momentum

How high can Buckingham finish in the league, and what targets have been set for the remainder?

Obviously we’d like to finish top but with Marsh Gibbon beating us in both encounters we’re reliant on a few other teams to see them drop some points. They’ve still got Bletchley to play twice and a game against Wing, who are also strong contenders for the league. For the rest of this season I just need to keep going, playing wherever the team needs me. It’s going to be a difficult January running off the Christmas belly!

Finally, we asked Tom if he could swap places for a day with someone from the club, and anyone in the world, who would it be?

From the club I’d say Harry White, purely based on playing in goal and to see if I could do any better for the three goals conceded at Wing! As for anyone in the world, I wouldn’t choose any individual in particular but an explorer of some descript, there is still a lot out there in the world which hasn’t been discovered

Sports Shots would like to thank Tom for his time this week

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