WITH the weather severely affecting football all over the area, it’s perhaps time for managers to take stock of the season so far.
Martyn Lakin, who is in his first season in the hot seat at Boston Town, offers his thoughts on the topsy-turvy progress of The Poachers so far in 2010.
“At the half way stage of the season we are lying in tenth place in the United Counties League with games in hand and have reached the semi-final of the Lincolnshire county cup. Surely that’s something to be happy about, right?
“Our league is a strange one right now as it looks like there are a couple of clubs going all out for promotion spending money that we can only dream of.
“St Neots Town have paid a five-figure transfer fee to Halesowen Town for former Aston Villa forward Stefan Moore and allegedly pay him more in a week than we spend on our total weekly wage bill!
“On top of a number of other quality signings with football league experience I believe they are the team to beat.
“Pushing them all the way will be Kings Lynn Town, who have a fantastic ground and support base. Having 700 people paying to watch your every home game gives a sound financial platform to build on.
“As a result the league has almost been divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Or in some cases the ‘will’ and ‘will nots’! By that I mean the teams who have the financial clout to blow everyone out of the water in terms of the quality of player they can afford and the teams who point blank will not spend to compete, knowing that it would be deemed a waste of money trying to chase the big guns.
“Our form on the pitch has been inconsistent. We started the season with what I thought was a really strong squad, hoping each player would do their bit in specific games to help us achieve a top 10 finish.
“Unfortunately things haven’t panned out the way I wanted.
“We lost inspirational midfielder Paul Goodhand in the first pre-season game with an ankle injury he is only now just getting over.
“We lost Lorand Borbely for reasons that have been well published, and I was never able to field my first choice starting XI.
“For the first 15 games or so we never really replaced their quality. We now have Paul and Lori back, but in the mean time lost Toni Pascu, Liam Nimmo and Lewis Brooks to other local teams.
“I am disappointed these lads are playing their football elsewhere in the county especially when they are living in the town but recognise not everyone’s heart is in Boston Town FC.
“With all of those player problems it is not surprising we have had a stop/start season. Where in the early part we were not dominating games, we were winning by the odd goal. Now we are playing much better football and dominating games, scoring more goals, but losing games – there’s no justice!
“We have tried to keep the best players from last year’s squad and I have been delighted with the performances of our experienced striker Gary Bull.
“Gary seems to be defying the sands of time and with 13 goals so far this season seems to be getting fitter and stronger as the season goes on.
“Captain Mark Foster is enjoying a great season personally. A very clever player whose game is not always appreciated by the uneducated eye. He fills those gaps and works hard to support and anticipate the opponents’ next move linking in nicely with the forwards.
“Lawrence Lambley is growing in confidence and is turning into a real class act as is local lad Nathan Stainfield.
“Nathan is only in his second season of UCL football and just gets better and better. I think we will be very lucky to hold on to him in the future.
“Nathan is learning so much from centre back Matthew Hocking. Matthew, another local lad with at least 400 football league games under his belt for Hull City, York City and Boston United, is a huge influence for the young lads and I only hope recent interest from St Albans City will not result in him leaving us.
“So there are a number of plusses in the season. We have a good young squad with an average age of 23 who, if we can keep them together will provide a sound footing for success in the future. On top of which we have used a number of good young local players from our reserve team in the likes of Josh Foreman who is now a first team regular, Ben Reeson, Tom James, Ryan Richardson and Danny Anderson.
“Boston Town is a small club with a hugely dedicated and loyal band of volunteers and supporters who help put on football at our level.
“We have strong reserve, U18 and youth teams all under the dedicated eye of Darren Bevan who is helping to develop the next breed of Boston Town player.
“I would love to see a few more people through the gate to watch our games and have never really understood why some of the 1,000 or so people who watch United don’t pop over the town when they cannot make their away fixtures and help support a true local team with local players, to watch what is a really good standard of football all for the very reasonable price of £5!
“Why not try it?”