Ottery boss content as he targets next step up

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6935. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary have completed their matches for 2018 and can stride into 2019 with real confidence that the rise and rise, of the club can – and indeed will – continue over the next 12 months.

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6929. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Newton St Cyres. Ref shsp 51 18TI 6929. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

In 2018, the Otters played 37 league and cup ties. The first of the year was a January 6, 6-0 win at home to North Tawton and the 37th and final game was the December 15, 6-1 home win over Newton St Cyres.

In between, the other 35 matches yielded 22 wins, two draws and 11 defeats.

In the 237 matches, the Otters scored 111 goals and conceded 62 and they will start their 2019 schedule looking to set a new club best in recent seasons of nine successive league wins!

Ottery boss Dave Fairweather says: “I think first and foremost, everyone who has been involved with the club should be proud of how far the club has come over the past year.

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“A lot of work has been undertaken off the pitch to ensure that the club is ready to play at Step Seven and indeed higher - when the opportunity arises.

He continued: “It is not just ‘football’ that the club is focussing on. We really want to be able to offer something to the local community and are striving to be something that people can relate to and be proud of.

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“On the football side, Matt (Ottery assistant manager Matt Preece) and I, have a group of players that we can really be proud of.

“They have bought in to what we are asking them to do. If people were to come and watch us play they will see that we have a clearly identifiable way of playing.

The key for us is that we are a team.

“Last season’s campaign of ‘two very different halves’ was very much down to the fact that, at times, we played like a group of individuals.

“My biggest disappointment is that, last season, I wasn’t able to better help the group of players reach the levels of performance we are witnessing this time round.

“But I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m on a steep learning curve! After every game and every training session there are things that I can reflect on and learn from.”

Fairweather is keen to heap plenty of credit on his number two.

He says: “Matt [Preece] coming in as my assistant has had a massive impact for me.

“The touchline can be a lonely place and he is the perfect foil for me.”

He continued: “The club has massive potential on and off the pitch.

“We have a group of players that I know, can improve and indeed, go on and play at a higher standard.

“Off the pitch, we have a chairman in Mike Ringer that knows what it takes for the club to progress.

“We just need more people willing to get involved, to make our progression off the pitch materialise sooner!”

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