From Steve 1st Team Manager
“SOMETIMES I GET SO TIRED, I CAN’T GET NO SLEEP, I’M SO DRUNK I CAN’T STAND UPON MY OWN TWO FEET, I’M FEELING SO HUNGRY, I DON’T WANT TO EAT, YOU MAKE ME SO ANGRY, I CAN’T EVEN SPEAK.” (‘I Can’t Stand It’ by the Specials).
Hi Readers, sorry for no report last week. At least people can’t say we only report when we win! Last week saw a thumping 7-0 win in the League over Wilmslow Albion. This week, as chance would have it, we played Albion again in the Murray Trophy. This week, a 3-0 win to Uppermill, over a much improved and stronger Wilmslow. So, 2 weeks, ten goals and 2 clean sheets. I would have taken that, especially with the incredible number of injuries we are carrying.
It certainly feels that this young Uppermill squad has turned a corner in recent weeks. The key messages are beginning to hit home. The players are beginning to apply what they are being told, and they are beginning to recognise that the coaches might just know a thing or two about football!
Last week’s game showed UFC at their season’s best, and it felt that a lot of patience was rewarded all in one game. Tom Simpson, Aiden Stevenson and Sam Bagshaw gave their best games so far this season, and you could sense the confidence with which they were playing. Tom grabbed 4 goals, which was just reward.
Today’s game was a bit more understated, but still a comfortable 3-0 win. Albion were a much improved team and some of their possession play was first class. No question that Albion try and play. Goals today from Captain Ross Stanley, Aiden Stevenson and a belter from Ben Ford. A disappointing note today was the (lack of) discipline. 3 cards for dissent. That is not us, and it will not be tolerated going forward. We only need to do the things that will win us football matches. Dissent and childish petulance will not win us a match.
It does feel that we are getting somewhere. All the hard work, patience and frustration is slowly beginning to pay off. It is gratifying to see young players beginning to fulfil their ability.
The remarkable thing is, we are caught in a terrible spell of injuries. So many regular first teamers unavailable in the last few weeks. I think that there were 8 players missing who would usually expect a first team start. That said, I could have no complaints with the 14 players on duty today. Had we lost, there would have been no scope for excuses. That shows a squad depth that we’ve never had before.
Over the two weeks, Tom Simpson and Aiden Stevenson have really stood out. Two very talented, but raw and frustrating, players. One an extroverted clown, the other an introvert. We can see deep talent in both players, and we will continue to push them to do the right things, and leave behind the old ways. Sam Bagshaw has woken up to the reality that he is a very talented footballer, but he needs to keep doing the things that work, and stop doing the things that don’t work. Sounds obvious? I know I shouldn’t eat and drink so badly, but I keep doing it. So, I guess that doing the obvious isn’t that easy.
Flynn Bradley shone today – so easy on the eye (as a footballer – to be clear………..); James Gregory slotted into an unfamiliar role with aplomb (I think that means style); and Jack Churchill produced a talented, hard working and, above all else, attitude-perfect display. Ben Ford’s goal was superb. I could go on……………Sorry Stanners.
It does feel that we are beginning to see the hard work pay off. That said, we are still miles away from where I want us to be. So, let’s not get carried away. Recent events have caused me to wonder if the effort is really worth it – and, as all manager/coach readers will realise the effort required is huge – even at our humble level. I want to develop a successful club, not just a successful team. That’s what I am aiming for. I am going to sound every one of my 50 years in saying that people, nowadays, want success on the cheap. All the glory with none of the effort and sacrifice. I was told this week, there are four ingredients for success:
Talent – we’ve all got talent, even if it shows itself in different ways; Hard Work – how many people REALLY want to work hard? Focus – focus closely on the things you are good at, and keep doing it, repeat it. Luck – let’s face it, we all need it.
The first and the fourth, you can’t do much about. The third one requires some decent people around you to help. The second one is in your hands. Get the second one right, and the others should, roughly, take care of themselves.
Cheers guys. Thanks.