PATHWAY TO SUCCESS.
For Pathway success and the long term plan of stability & sustainability we have to define short term success also. We also must understand the limitations and then be realistic about where we are, how far we have come and ask are we on the right path? The easiest way to analyse that is based on our game performances and ask are the players progressing? The answer to that is 1million Percent yes. No one hates losing more than me and we slipped to our second 2-1 defeat on the spin and its tough to take. Winning is of course important and every game we absolutely set up to do that home and away. But I also have to be pragmatic and realistic about our situation and take a helicopter view. As well as missing a chance within the opening minutes of the game that only the awful pitch prevented a tap in after great work, we went on to create many more which included us hitting the crossbar and having one cleared off the line as well as some terrific defending from the Didcot centre back and two great saves from their keeper. If you took them two players out of that side it would have a huge impact. We had 8 out including the keeper. With an average age of 20 of course taking key players out has a big impact. So I’m delighted that the guys are still able to perform the way they do and yet again development squad players have stepped up. We had Kyle and Kieran injured. Two centre backs. We had Ethan injured who has been terrific in midfield and is still recovering. Nathan made his return to action this week but it was too early to put him back in with the first team. Erin and Arel were late dealing with a family illness which couldn’t be avoided. That’s another centre midfielder and our top scorer. Half hour in Alex pulls out with a pulled hamstring and Rio limped to the finish with a pulled hamstring. Added to that the referee booked young James minutes after coming on the pitch bizarrely with no warning and then made a point of telling players he was on his last warning. I thought it was rash and extremely harsh. So, we were forced into the horrible decision of taking him back off which changed the whole dynamic of the game and our set up. So when you consider all these dynamics its amazing that we could go to such a well established & organised club like Didcot who have a decent following and you look around the ground and can see food & beverage being sold which I’m sure means they can afford to go and get well established players with experience. We cant do that. So, without complaining, it is was it is. We know its tight and our income is limited. But we have an amazing group of young players that are performing well and progressing. They keep getting better and better and that will mean that again, some will move we hope to further their careers. Were in a much better place than when we started. We will win lots of games this season, when we do, we wont get carried away because we know there are plenty of bumps in roads that are in the phase of being newly laid. Tony McCool