Ottery first team without a game owing to opposition Covid-19 positive test

Action from the Ottery St Mary pre-season meeting with Axminster Town. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

Action from the Ottery St Mary pre-season meeting with Axminster Town. Picture: SARAH MCCABE - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary will be without a game on Saturday (October 24) after scheduled visitors to Washbrook Meadows, Paignton Saints reported a positive covid-19 test result and the whole club has been shut down for 14 days as per FA guidance.

After playing 10 games in 46 days you’d think that Ottery boss Billy Rouse would be glad off a ‘rare’ Saturday off.

However, that’s not the case as he alluded to when he said: “We are gutted the game is off. The only positive I can take from not having a game on Saturday is that it gives Liam Carey another week to recover from his injury.

“To be honest we have loved every minute of the games coming thick and fast.

“We have been in great form and it’s coming to that time of year when games start getting called off owing to weather issues and we certainly do not want to spend week after week without a game.”

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He continued: “Next Saturday (October 31) we are away at Roselands, who play on an artificial pitch so as long as there are no Covid cases we’ll be back in action then.”

On the playing front the Otters boss says: “It was great to have Ash Small back in training this midweek after his absence through injury.

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“Sadly he is still a few weeks away from being able to play matches again, but it’s very positive to have him back with the group.

“Darren Carr and Matt Ayres both got back into training this week following lengthy lay-offs, so hopefully they’ll be able to feature for the reserves soon.

“I’m looking forward to going along with the reserves on Friday night, it’s great that the fixture was put on Friday meaning that some fringe first team players can go and get some minutes.

“Lorin Newcombe, who has looked lively from the bench for the first team will get a chance with the reserves as will Connor Hannaford who has fallen out of the team due to work and illness.

“Matt Byrnes and Connor Swingler both played in the second team’s last outing so they’re in the squad again to keep building up their fitness.

“It’s great that we have the three men’s teams and it gives a wide range of opportunity for players to play football, but ultimately the goal is the success of the first team.

“It’s worked really well so far with players moving between teams and that will only continue throughout the season.”

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