With three games played we are still looking for our first points of the season although the performances of some of our youngsters in the annual charity match for the Topfield Trophy against Hitchin Town showed us that it isn’t all doom and gloom.
First and foremost I am delighted that we raised around £300 for the St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger – a really worthy cause.
Despite going in at the interval four goals adrift against our higher league opponents, the introduction of players from our Under 18 side signalled a change in fortunes.
We won the second half 2-0. losing the match overall 4-2, and the performances of the five youngsters drafted in bodes well for the future.
What we saw was precisely the process that we are trying to put in place and I have to say that I am really excited about some of the young players we have coming through the ranks.
Now we need to do everything we possibly can to ensure they stick with us for the long haul, hopefully all the way to their eventual graduation into the first team.
This club has always been about development and learning, and doing it the right way, but that said we have also always felt that age is just a number and if you are good enough, you’re old enough.
What is most encouraging about this group of youngsters is an obvious love for the game and a love of working together as a team.
Sometimes we forget, especially when starting a team from scratch, how difficult it is to create that bond and team spirit that can make all the difference when battling in the trenches and it is credit to the tireless efforts and management skills of coaches Keith Castle and Sam Goodman that have helped to build and nurture it.
Likewise with our Under 23 side that continually has to re-build itself simply because very often players leave because they feel the time has come to make the final leap into the first at a time while we might feel they are not quite ready.
Credit to the Under 23 coaches, Joan Garzon and Rolf Borreson for re-building this side, creating a team spirit and making it as competitive as it is.
To be fair our last league performance against London Colney was a considerable improvement, particularly in the second half, although we were ultimately unable to get back on terms after conceding an early goal.
But there is no disguising the fact that we need points and we also need players to take a long hard look at their own performances and not look to blame others for our shortcomings. We need the strength, passion and commitment of everyone and we go again this weekend when we visit a London Tigers side tomorrow (Sat k.o. 3pm) who will be high in confidence following a 4-0 midweek win over fourth placed Harpenden Town. On Tuesday night St Margaretsbury visit Second Meadow in the Dudley Latham Memorial Cup (k.o 7.45pm)
See you there.