Saturday 13th April 2019
Buckingham Athletic v Long Crendon
Berks & Bucks FA Intermediate Cup Final
Venue: Hithercroft Road, Wallingford OX10 9RB
Buckingham Athletic Development are involved in cup final action on Saturday as they travel to Hithercroft Road, the home of Wallingford Town FC to face Hellenic Football League Division Two East side Long Crendon in what looks a fascinating battle against two sides both having fantastic seasons. The Ath youngsters are top of their league and look odds on to win the league title needing just a further five points to secure the trophy from their remaining five games, they were on for a treble until last weekend when they were knocked out of the Challenge Trophy semi-final on penalties by Leighton Town, so will be eager to secure this cup competition ahead of their remaining league fixtures. But waiting to disappoint are Crendon who are top of their division having won twenty-two of their twenty-four league games this campaign, scoring goals for fun along the way they’ve scored eight and ten in a game twice each, in those league games to date they’ve hit the net one hundred and three times, an intriguing afternoon lies ahead.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Ath midfielder Kieran Brady and first of all we asked front man Luke Tavener how long he’s been back at the club and what saw him re-join:
I have been back at the club just over a month now, after speaking to Jake & seeing how well the lads were doing and with the chance to compete for some trophies, it made it an easy decision to come back. It’s been easy to fit back in after playing with or against most of the lads previously as well
Kieran is in his first season at the club:
I have been with Buckingham Athletic Development for nearly a year now, I joined at the start of the season after looking for a new club in the summer. Living quite local to Buckingham I came to pre-season and never looked back, the team ethic and focus on improving ourselves as players and in turn winning matches has been spot on
How good a season does Kieran feel he has had since joining?
I feel I have contributed well to the team; I am the only player in the squad to play in every match this season. I start most matches and have managed to assist in several goals, I have also scored twice this season however getting more goals is a personal target that I would like to bring to my game for the rest of the season and look to improve on for next season
Luke is hoping his goals can cement a regular place:
It’s not been easy to get into the team with how well the lads have been doing this season but I have managed to get a couple of starts and a couple of goals so hopefully I can continue that for the rest of the season
How good does Luke feel the squad is at Buckingham?
Jake (Honor) and Ben (Townsend) have built a really strong squad this season, I can’t imagine there’s any other development teams that have twenty good players training and available every week. I have been really impressed with the whole squad’s commitment and ability since coming back
Kieran identifies a spine in the side but appreciates it is a squad game:
The squad is packed with individual talent from front to back, for example on several occasions our goalkeeper James Green has made game changing saves, defender and captain Dan McAndrew has been key in keeping as many clean sheets as we have this year, Ollie Goulding has been an engine in the midfield and almost runs a marathon every match and finally up top Charlie Wright has been scoring the goals to win us games. However above all I think the willingness to work hard from the whole squad is what has put us in a great position in multiple competitions at the tail end of the season
What is Kieran’s preferred position in the side and what formation best suits him?
I have played both on the wing and in attacking midfield this season, I think our four-two-three-one system is great for me as it allows me to have the space to run at defences and create opportunities for other players
Luke plays at the spearhead of the attack:
My favourite position would be as a striker; with the number of players we get forward and into attacking positions I’d say that’s what compliments my game the most
Ath’s last four games saw league success at Stotfold followed by progress in the Challenge Trophy, but the two-legged semi-final saw them exit the competition, how does Luke view that disappointment?
Following up to this weekend the previous games were all positive and deserved wins. Saturday was disappointing for us all but unfortunately we weren’t good enough on the day but we are all looking to put that right this weekend
After that defeat on penalties last week, Kieran admits the focus is now on the league and this cup final:
The first three games you mentioned are a result of the momentum we have built up for ourselves. Having only lost one match this season prior to the league cup semi-final second leg we had a great winning streak that had put us in such a good position come the end of the season. Going out of the league cup was a disappointment to everyone in the team, we have had our sights on the treble all season however it is now important that we focus on the county cup final and the following league games to ensure we take home two trophies at the end of the season
What does Kieran know about their cup final opponents?
We have seen that Long Crendon are fighting for the top spot in their league against Penn & Tyler’s Green FC, a team we beat in the previous rounds on penalties, so we are expecting another tough match. To win the cup would be amazing for everyone at Buckingham Athletic, the competition started with one hundred and twenty-eight places, some teams were given a bye in the first round, so to be one of the two teams left is a fantastic achievement, however if we play as I know we can I’m sure we will be lifting the trophy come Saturday evening
Luke concurs that both teams will be more than capable of winning this competition:
Personally I don’t know much about them but after seeing their results this season it’s clearly going to be a tough game. Both of us go into it in really dominant league positions so it should be a great game and would be a great achievement for the team if we can get our first piece of silverware
What are the targets for the rest of this season for Luke?
Personally I just want to keep continuing to help the team as much as I can, the lads have put in a lot of work over the season and we just need to maintain those levels, if we can I’m confident we’ll come away with some well-deserved silverware
Kieran is already looking ahead to next season:
I would like to make an impact in the business end of the season, weather that’s scoring, assisting or putting in good performances I want to help the team win the County cup and the league. I am looking forward to pre-season with Buckingham Athletic Development next year as I am sure it will be a great opportunity to improve as a squad and have an equally if not better season next year. I would expect a few new faces at the club next year given the success of the team this year so I look forward to coming back next year as an even stronger team
Finally, we asked Kieran if he could pick any team mate to go on any TV programme, who and what would he choose?
I would have to go on the X Factor with Rufus Barker because that lad has got a serious voice on him, as we found out with his initiation song when he joined midway through the season!
Luke has selected the ideal movie role for someone:
It’s not a tv programme or show, but with him being five foot nothing and bright orange with his tanning addiction, I think Louie Walters would be a perfect Oompa Loompa
Sports Shots would like to thank both Kieran & Luke for their time this week