GM UPDATE – FEBRUARY ‘22
CJ: What can you say for the impressive form that the First Team have been in since the start of 2022?
ST: If my maths is correct we’ve played 10 games since new years day, resulting in 21 points out of a possible 30 – which is not a bad return at all! To be honest, we’ve been impressive the whole season thus far. We’ve had the fewest defeats in the league, the most clean sheets and we’ve got the second best goal difference, so to sit second in the league with 2-months left to play is pretty good going if you ask me.
CJ: Which performance has been your favourite since our 3-1 victory over Cheshunt on New Year’s Day?
ST: It has to be Enfield away! I didn’t sleep the night before because it was such a big game, and Enfield at the time were the in-form team. It was a very tense afternoon, but boy did the players turn up. It was a completely one sided performance, and to see a couple of hundred supporters turn up to voice their support was pretty special too.
CJ: There have been several departures since the start of the year: Jake Cass left the club to join Enfield Town F.C,Archie Jones moved to Spalding United on-loan following his injury lay-off and Jimmy Wallace’s loan from Southend United came to an end – but we have also strengthened owing to the extension of Billy Cracknell’s loan, the arrival of former Sudbury midfielder Oliver Peters, the signature of Jason Banton on-loan from Kingstonian F.C and the return of Archie Jones from Spalding. How strong do you think the squad is going into our final games of the season?
ST: This is probably the strongest we’ve looked all season. I think there’s only been one other moment during this season where we’ve had a fully fit squad. We’re now in a place where virtually everyone is back fit and raring to go. Steve and the management team will certainly have a selection headache for the run in, but every player will play their part I’m sure.
CJ: On Billy Cracknell – the Colchester United loanee won our January Player of the Month award and has put in some immense performances at centre-back and full-back; will there be the opportunity for us to bring him to the R&D Advisors U.K Stadium on a permanent basis?
ST: At this moment in time, we’ve got Billy on loan until the end of the season, and it wouldn’t be fair to comment on his future beyond that. However, in my humble opinion he has been phenomenal, and certainly has a bright future.
CJ: What plans are in place to continue improving the club during the close-season? How would promotion to the National League N/S affect these plans?
ST: As per any summer break, we’ll get a working party together to get the place looking nice and fresh in time for the new season. We have some plans to do some minor remedial works, decorating etc. The club are also in the running to receive a £10,000 bursary from Buildbase through the Buildbase Product Bursary as part of their Non-League Club Renovation scheme. These funds will go towards the refurbishment of the toilets at the R&D Advisor’s U.K Stadium.
CJ: How have the academy been progressing in 2022? Were the trials for next season a success?
Our recent academy trials have been successful – we’ve had over 30+ prospects submit expressions of interests. We’ll continue to keep building the numbers for next season’s squad over the coming months.
CJ: How proud are you to see the supporters getting behind the club home and away, as we push for promotion?
The support really does make all the difference – I know how much the players appreciate the supporters rallying behind the team in their numbers. Our home crowds have more-or-less doubled since the new year and the away support has been incredible. I’m really looking forward to Margate this Saturday, with the supporters club travelling in a sold-out coach.