Thursday, August 7, 2014
Ninety days after the full time whistle blew to end the 2013/14 season Sidmouth Town launch another campaign tomorrow when they entertain Plymstock United (3pm) at Manstone Lane.
Town boss Josh Stunell and his number two John Clements have run the rule over a large number of players during the close season and watched in admiration as the team produced a previously unseen gear in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over Chard Town at Manstone Lane.
Mark Pavey (2), Tony Cox and Andrew Thompson scored the goals that saw off the Zembard Lane side.
For Stunell it was the perfect response to his sides Axminster Hospital Cup final defeat to Budleigh Salterton the previous Sunday.
Stunell said: “As poor as we were in that Hospital Cup final (Town lost 2-1 in extra time to Budleigh Salterton), we were so much improved on Wednesday night that, to a man, the players gave us a message that was a clear case of ‘you are not taking the shirt off my back’!”
Stunell is an advocate of football being played along the ground and, to that end, the lush turf of Manstone Lane will help him.
The fixture compiler has been good to Town for they play six of their first eight on their own pitch.
Stunell says: “There’s no such thing as an easy start - but we are fortunate to have so many early home games when I am hoping we can throw down a marker for the season. I am keen for us to play a passing game and I feel we have put together the players to deliver that.”
After Saturday’s opener they are home again a week tomorrow (August 16) with Crediton United the visitors and they are swiftly back in action the Monday after (August 18) when they play at Exeter University.
Home games with Appledore (August 23) and Newton Abbot Spurs (August 30) complete the first month’s South West Peninsula League (SWP) action.
They begin September with a Tuesday night game at Crediton United and entertain Exwick Villa on the first Saturday of September.
They play just one Saturday away league game in the first three months of the season! That’s the Saturday, September 6 trip into Exeter to meet Alphington. It’s not until November 8 that they journey away again in pursuit of league points when they go to Teignmouth Town.
Stunell says: “In terms of the season’s targets I would like to see us make progress. That’s something we feel we have seen as the pre-season period gathered pace and I’d like to see that momentum carried forward into the league campaign so that come next May we can sit back and enjoy the fact that serious progress was made at Sidmouth Town. One thing I am very sure about, there’ll be plenty of hard work put in over the next nine months to bring that progress to fruition.”