Otters in crisis - second team manager required urgently!


- Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary Reserves are in desperate need of a manager, writes Steve Birley.

Last weekend the Otters were unable to field a team for their second teams game in Fresha League Division Eight owing to their not being enough players available to field two teams – the first team were in action at Starcross Generals.

A midweek players meeting was called and, despite their being 40 players registered to play for the Otters this season, only eight pitched up to the meeting – and five of them had played in the first team the week before!

It all adds up to a big problem for the club and first team boss Dave Fairweather underlined the severity of the situation when he said: “Unless we can find someone to come on board and run the second team then it will fold. That would be a massive backward step for the club and one that I personally do not want to see.”

He continued: “Calling off last Saturday’s game was terrible. I spent hours trying to get players involved, but to no avail. We really do have a problem at the club with commitment and unless players are prepared to show willing then we will be left with no option – an option that, for me, is unthinkable.”

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The Otters Reserves were last in action on February 20 when they climbed new heights this season, bagging a richly deserved draw against promotion-chasing Cranbrook.

Tomorrow they have no game as they were due to face a Sidmouth Town third team that has been reinstated into the Devon Intermediate Cup after quarter-final opponents Otterton – who beat them 2-1 – were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player.

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Fairweather says: “The week off is a good thing as it gives us a bit of time to try and get someone in to run the second team. I urge local football folk to get in touch. The very future of the club is on the line with this issue. All progressive football clubs need reserve teams and if we were to lose ours what would that say about us!”

Fairweather was in the first team technical area at Starcross Generals last weekend where his side went down to a surprise 1-0 defeat.

He said: “There were mitigating circumstances. We travelled without seven players, six of which were defenders and so we had to mix and match which is never ideal. We had our centre forward playing centre back and yet still managed to create chance after chance which, on the day, just would not go in. Its point’s dropped for sure, but it’s also not terminal to our longer term hopes as the results in general in the division went in our favour and we remain very much part of the promotion race.”

Tomorrow the Otters entertain Halwill and Fairweather is able to welcome back almost all the players missing last week. However, there are doubts about both James Gosney and Adam Harris who have been struggling with illness during the past week. On the positive side there’s a return for playmaker Matt Daly.

Fairweather says: “Matt (Daly) is a key player for us and certainly makes us tick so having him back is a huge boost. When we play as a team and are fully committed to the cause we are a match for anyone at this current level.”

He concluded: “Sadly though, as much as I want us to succeed at first team level I am also desperate for the second team to be kept going and I would urge anyone who has read his and who thinks they could help, to ring me as soon as possible.”

Fairweather can be contacted on 07791 774706.

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