Reserves Progress Pleases Paul

Having been appointed as Reserve Team Manager just under three months ago, I thought it may be useful to update you on how things are progressing.

Firstly, can I say how grateful I am for the support shown to me by the Club and the supporters. At the Tring home game on 19th January we had a larger crowd than most Spartan Premier games that week. This matchday support is appreciated by the players as well.

After committing to the Surburban League this season, which I fully endorse, the Club has made great strides in being able to compete in a division made up of mainly clubs from at least one step higher than us on the League pyramid.

Our standard of technical ability and fitness matches all other teams in our league including Boreham Wood, Camberley and Harefield, the top three teams in our Division. The basis of this has been down to the foundation work of the Youth Team Manager Danny Johnson, and his coaching staff, who have put together an excellent group of young players to support the Reserve squad.

My role is and will be to continue to develop these young players and to bring in older and more experienced players to enable the Reserves to be competitive in every game. We have been very successful in signing players in our target zone over the last two months, ie, players aged around 21-25 with experience of first team football at least of Spartan 1 level. This blends well with our current experienced players and enables us to manage our young stars, so they do not suffer burn out.

There will be more new faces in the Reserves over the coming weeks as we look to build a squad that can fully support Mick’s Championship push, this season and next.

Over the last three games with the support of my new coach Rob Patwell we have implemented a new system of playing, which the lads have adapted to very well and our first aim was to improve our defence and therefore the number of goals conceded. All competitive sides are based on a solid defensive ethic, which then allows you to play creative football going forward. In these three games we have not conceded a goal from open play and indeed against Boreham Wood, who had lost once all season and only conceded nine goals in seventeen games to that game, we led for most of the second half.

Now we have established this base, the next step is to improve our goalscoring. However, we have actually created more clear-cut chances in these three games than in the previous four or five. Against Harefield, we had three wonderful opportunities to score in the second half. So we will be working on that over the next few weeks, as the new players bed in.

We hope to continue seeing you all at Broadwater in the near future.

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