DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

JAMES GREGORY

TOMMY LEEDHAM

The 2019/20 season brought a lot of positive change and some challenges to the reserves section.

Obviously taking on a slightly different project this season for the reserves section, which involved progressing the previous seasons U19 squad into the reserves we looked to introduce a big element of youth into the previous set up effectively changing the structure from not just a reserves team but also a development squad.  With the new structure also brought in a new ethos and a new way in which we wanted the squad to play. As with all new season’s players from outside the current structure joined and some previous players left to pursue different challenges. Pre-season training and friendlies brought a lot of exciting views to how well we believed the squad would challenge and develop throughout the upcoming season.

The new season campaign started with our first two matches being losses but with these results the team actually showed us exactly how good this group of players are and the progress they would bring through this season and ongoing into the next. The highlights to the start of the season were our first win at home to Nutley plus home victories to then undefeated West Hoathly and away wins to title contenders Crawley Devils. The squad then showed us their amazing team spirit with a 5-4 win away to Ashurst Wood in the Cup after extra time, a win that the team thoroughly deserved with the effort they put in. A 6-2 home win against Copthorne and a 2-1 home win against Mike Oak followed insuring more and more confidence in the abilities of the squad.  There was then a massive disruption to our season with very unusual wet weather conditions which meant we did not play any competitive fixtures through all of February and into March. Our final fixture before the stopping of the season due to Coronavirus was a well contested away fixture to Sovereign Saints.

Considering the squad had not played together for nearly 6 weeks

they again showed their togetherness and spirit to come from 1-0

down to coming away with all 3 points with a 3-2 victory to cap

off a very positive season.

Myself and Tommy have been so pleased with the progress and team

spirit shown by every single player within the squad. We are now

very excited to see what this squad can continue to achieve

with the coming season.

James Gregory

james2gregory@hotmail.com

+44 7793 573208