Saturday 12th January 2019
Mursley United Development v Buckingham United
North Bucks League Intermediate Division
The Playing Field
Mursley United development host Buckingham United on Saturday in their first ever league meeting and a stiff test lies ahead as they welcome the league’s second place side on the back of their seven goals to three victory at Potterspury reserves last weekend. Mursley haven’t played since mid-December, a month that saw two defeats against Bletchley Park & Marsh Gibbon, however those defeats were sandwiched by a cup win over Gibbon on penalties after a goalless draw, and in their first season together Mitch Toyer’s men sit smack in the middle of the North Bucks & District Football League intermediate Division table, and find themselves exactly five points away from the side above them and below them, a win would see them within touching distance of the top five places with games in hand on three of those top five. Their next two games are both at home and against teams above them fighting for top spot, tough tests but they have already proven this season that they can compete in this division.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Mursley defender Sam Clubley to ask when he joined on and how he’s found it at the club:
I’ve been here since the start of the season, it was the manager Mitch (Toyer) who got me here. He contacted me letting me know he was going to be in charge of the development squad and that I should come down for pre-season to see how I got on, I enjoyed myself so I thought why not and made the move. I’ve really enjoyed the season so far with a great group of lads
What position does Sam play, and what formation best suits the side?
I play left back myself, and in terms of formation both the first team and development at Mursley play four-three-three, I feel this is probably the best if everyone is doing their job and midfield work together well and stay as a unit. It’s also good if the winger you have on your side tracks back if you’re getting doubled up on. There are other formations I’d like to try but the middle of the season isn’t the right time to be doing that
How has the season been so far for Sam?
Overall I feel I’ve been solid, I feel that in some games I have been really good but then at the same time in others I’ve not been so good & not really up for it, and to be a good player you can’t do that as you need to be consistent, but I feel I’ve had more good than bad. I started the season really fit and maintained that right up until we had a blip in the fixtures where they were so sporadic that it was hard to maintain match fitness, I also had a holiday in November which may have affected my fitness aswell
How good is this development squad, and which players have impressed so far?
To me this team can be incredible and go far, the ability and potential these players have is really high. It’s our first season all playing together so I think that after this season or even towards the end of this one you will start to see what we can really do, we just need to gel properly as a team & understand each other and how we should be playing. As for impressing, I could name all the players in the team as they all have, but a couple in particular are Tom Lloyd-Roberts as he’s been called up to the first team permanently now I believe, Josh Hawkins also, and I wish I didn’t have to say this but Ben Johnson when he’s switched on & playing like he knows he can for someone his age is unreal, and finally a lad who has only recently joined called Sultan (Hussaini) as he’s put in outstanding performances every week and he’s really young as well with so much potential
United faced Gibbon twice and Bletchley in December with a draw and two defeats, how were those games?
For me those games were very frustrating, the first away to Marsh Gibbon we were a few players short and I had to fill in at centre back, it was a good game but on the day they were the better side but I knew we had another game against them, at our place and with some of the missing players coming back. In that second game I felt we dominated them which at the end of the ninety minutes was a draw, and we luckily won on penalties with our keeper Nick Bevans making some great saves. The loss to Bletchley was the most frustrating as we were two-one up, but in the second half the rain started coming down hard & fast, almost blinding at times and they really showed that they wanted it more than us & unfortunately we went on to lose three-two, but I think with a bit of maturity from the lads we would have done enough to see it out and win the game
Onto Buckingham United this week, does Sam know much about them?
Whilst I haven’t played against them with Mursley I was fortunate enough to face them when I was at Tattenhoe so can give the gaffer some information on what it was like & how I remember playing against them. I believe if we have a strong team & play how I know we can then it’ll be a good game and I can see us winning it, we just have to be disciplined at the back and clinical going forward. They are a very good side so it’ll take us being on top form to beat them
How high up the league can this squad finish, and what targets are there for the remainder?
Seeing as it is our first season as a team I think top three or four would be very good seeing as we have nothing to base this season upon, but in the position we are in now I think top four is a good finish. For me, I’d like to get my match fitness back up & finish the season playing the best I can, and to get a couple more call ups to the first team if possible
Finally, we asked Sam if he could swap places with anyone from the club and in the world, who would he choose?
That’s a tough one because we have some players younger than me and I’d like to be their age again, but I reckon I’d like to be the manager to see what it’s like on match day & see what it’s like to manage our young team, whether it is stressful or not. If I could be anyone in the world for a day it would probably have to be a footballer, either Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi as they seem happy with their lives and are at the top of their sport, which is a massive achievement. And of course the money!
Sports Shots would like to thank Sam for his time this week