Westfield reserves season could of been better to be honest. During the first half of the season we were losing matches to silly mistakes that cost us goals. We also had a team of "old heads" and the likes of Ross, Ryan and Harley didn't really get a sniff. Second half of the season is more pleasing to me. We had a more youthful look to our team with the emergence of Bradley Owens, Jack Davies, Curtis Coombes, Mike Cane, Josh Eaton, Sam Winter, Tom Watson and Khaya all wanting to play county league football for Westfield FC. These are the type of players we needed for this and next season. Its no coincidence that as soon as these players joined and started playing for Westfield FC that our performance and results were getting better and better. We were on a bit of a run going towards the end of the season, with these players involved, and this resulted in the superb team performance against St Leonards Social FC in the Robertsbridge Intermediate Charity Cup Final in which we won 2-1, we were all over them like a rash !
Reserve team management is a hard job to do as you don't tend to have the same team playing week after week, but it is also an enjoyable job as well to see my players been giving the chance to play for the first team. The trio management team have always said that they will look at players who impress them at training or at our games they have seen and they have stuck to their word this season as we have seen the likes of Ross, Ryan, Bradley, Mike, Josh, Sam W and Tom Watson all being given their chance in the first team.
With pre season just around the corner, I am looking forward to next season as I firmly believe, with the players I have got, that we can challenge for the league title and have some good cup run's. On our day we can beat anyone in our league and I predict we will finish in the top 3 next season.
So watch this space !
Westfield reserves came up against St Leonards Social in the Robertsbridge Charity Intermediate Cup on Wednesday 4th May. Preparation for this game wasn't brilliant as we suffered a heavy loss against Southwick FC the Saturday before, so team selection for the Cup Final was so difficult. In fact, it was the hardest team selection I have had to do all season ! Before the game started I was a bit sceptic as St Leonard's Social boasted senior players who have played county league football and I had a relatively young team taking the field. The game started and within the first 15 minutes I could see that I had nothing to worry about. All around the park we were matching them for skill and effort. We had most of the play in the first half without really testing their keeper. Josh Eaton and Sam Willett in the centre of the park was the winning the midfield battle as most of our football started from the middle. I told them at half time that " it was probably the best first half I have seen us play this season ", and told them to keep playing the football as we will eventually score. This chat obviously worked as St Leonards Social took the lead with the first 15 minutes of the second half after a well worked goal finished by Dominic Cruttenden. After this, we started to make their goalkeeper work as we started to look more and more threatening. After 75 minutes we drew level through Sam Willett who drew their keeper into a mistake at the edge of their box and Sam had an open goal to shoot into 18 yards away. Now we could smell victory ! We was awarded a penalty as their defender brought down Sam Jameson in the box after a great move. AJ stepped up and slotted the pen nicely. So we played out the remaining 10 minutes to go and win the cup and deservedly so. All the players involved did really well but a special mention has to go to Jacob Archer and Sam Jameson who both were outstanding. The team that played had youth all over it apart from AJ, Sam and Ollie but that's the way we are going with the side. Team : Crutts, Ollie, AJ, Jacob Archer, Tom Watson, Brad Owens, Josh Eaton, Sam Willett, Richard Saunders, Sam Winter, Sam Jameson. Subs :Boz, Ross, Khaya, Darren T, Mike Cane
When the season started, the average age of my team was around 32 but as the season developed, it has gone gradually down. We have had an influx of youngsters joining Westfield FC but these youngsters are all very good players for the future. Even though the league position does not show it, we have been playing some really good football. This is due to the way that Tony, Dunc, Bally and myself want the game to be played every Saturday ! When I have played players as young as 16, none of them have looked out of place. They have all justified their place in the team and now I have 5 or 6 Under 18's playing for me on a regular basis, which is good for the future of the club. One of my jobs as the reserve team manager is to tell the first team management trio who has the potential to play in the first team and hopefully I have done this since I took over in November. Almost every week, the first team has had a reserve player as part of the squad which is so pleasing to see and I always ask how they did and it is always good reports. This is gives me a sense of pride that my players that I have at the moment are good enough to be a part of the first team set up where the same players at the beginning of the season were overlooked, not by the management trio !!
As the end of the season is fast approaching, I am looking forward to next season already and I am looking forward to welcoming old and new players to pre season.
I look at this season as a sense of pride with the players that I have got and its been a learning curve for myself and the players throughout the season. I would like to thank AJ for looking after the team while I was away and would also like to thank George, Darren Smith and Dave Burt for all of their help this season.