Thursday, January 9, 2014
Newton Poppleford’s stat line in the Fresha League Division One table does not make for good viewing with a record of eighteen played, eighteen lost, eleven goals scored and 94 conceded, writes Jordan Cooper.
It would be fair to say at this stage that the side will not be playing Division One football next season, but expect this close-knit squad to stick together for the remainder of the season and enjoy every minute of it.
That has become the identity of the football club over the past few months following the change of name from Colaton Raleigh that resulted in a number of departures before a ball had been kicked.
Manager Cliff Cooper took over the reigns with a threadbare squad consisting of just three previous players but has managed to keep the players happy despite the results.
The 56-year-old, who has made cameo appearances himself, said: “It’s been tough for everyone involved, no-one likes losing every week. It’s true that we don’t have the best players in the league but they give it their all and without them Newton Poppleford Football Club wouldn’t exist.”
Of the players that stayed loyal to both the team and the village in which he lives, captain and local lad Matt Tett insists the mood around the club is great.
“We’ve got a good bunch of lads at the club that put in effort week in, week out,” said Tett, whose brother Mark also remained with the Popples.
“We are all in a good mood but I think that deep down everyone knows we are going to lose. But we all go back to The Cannon, have a few drinks and a laugh and look forward to next week.”
Tett also paid tribute to Cooper and long-time Newton Poppleford and Colaton Raleigh legend Ken Woodsford for their efforts to keep him at the club and give him the chance to test himself in Division One after working hard to get there.
A fortnight ago, the Popples lost 4-0 in a game against Cullompton Rangers that they had hoped to gain their first points from. However, it was a tough game from start to finish against a Rangers side that fielded a number of first-team players.
Things do not get any easier for the Popples this Saturday as they host Elmore in a top versus bottom clash, looking to improve on the 8-0 defeat they suffered on the opening day of the season. The Popples are the only local team with a home tie so go along and show your support! Kick-off tomorrow is 2.15pm.