Ottery St Mary Football Club number two: We have enjoyed a fantastic period of transition

PUBLISHED: 09:50 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:50 02 October 2020

Ottery St Mary's new manager Billy Rouse with Mark Flay who will be joining him as assistant manager atWashbrook Meadow. Picture: OSMFC

Ottery St Mary's new manager Billy Rouse with Mark Flay who will be joining him as assistant manager atWashbrook Meadow. Picture: OSMFC

Archant

Ottery St Mary have completed a full month of the new season and, in that time, things have certainly moved on, on and off the Washbrook Meadow pitch, writes Steve Birley.

Former Exeter City goalkeeper Ashley Smith who has been appointed Ottery first team coach and also the club's goalkeeping coach. Picture: OTTERY ST MARY FCFormer Exeter City goalkeeper Ashley Smith who has been appointed Ottery first team coach and also the club's goalkeeping coach. Picture: OTTERY ST MARY FC

We caught up with assistant manager Mark Flay to get his take on a busy first month.

First up we asked him for his overall take on things.

He replied saying: “It has been fantastic period of transition, coming across to Ottery St Mary and starting the season so well, I think it’s fair to say that while Billy [team boss Billy Rouse], myself and Frase [Ottery coach Stuart Fraser], were under no illusions of how difficult the transition may be, we were always confident in ourselves to show we were the right appointments for Ottery, which I think we have shown in this month alone, navigating through seven games in the space of a month to reach the top spot in the table.”

Next Mark touched on how things are so different for the new management team, saying: “At Cronies, our previous club, we were a self-run club created by ourselves and so we had an active role in running the club from the top to the bottom, but coming across to Ottery, it has been enjoyable to solely focus on football matters at the club.”

Ottery at home to Buckland Athletic. Ref shsp 06 20TI 7550. Picture: Terry IfeOttery at home to Buckland Athletic. Ref shsp 06 20TI 7550. Picture: Terry Ife

He continued: “The club is extremely well run by Mikey [Ottery chairman Mikey Ringer] and all areas are covered that allow us to do the job required and ensure we have a competitive first-team, with a strong second-team and development squad backing us up.

“We have been welcomed to the club with open arms, some players have followed from Cronies, some have joined from other clubs and some were here last season with Ottery, but everyone has come together, gelled really well and help to create not just a team, but a club.”

Turning his attention to more general matters, the Ottery number two said: “Some clubs operate their teams as separate entities, but our view of football is that a club is a club and we want to promote the opportunity of fluid movement that allows a player playing well in the seconds to step up to the first team, and vice versa, if a first team player is not playing particularly well or is looking to build up their match fitness, they can play for the second team.”

Last but not least, the Otters assistant boss turned his attention to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: “Outside of Football, the Coronavirus pandemic is obviously a worrying time for all, but while we can compete and play, we will look to do so.

“It was disappointing that last season was cancelled at grassroots level and hopefully that is something that can be avoided as we look to finish as high up the league as we can, as well progressing through the cups to give ourselves the best chance possible of a successful first season under the new era of Billy, myself and Frase at Ottery St Mary Football Club.”


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