Q&A with Ottery St Mary boss

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

Back to training and competitive football

As we prepare for a return to football tomorrow, the Sidmouth Herald posed some questions for Ottery St Mary manager Billy Rouse.

The Otters travel to Watcombe Wanderers in the Devon Football League on Saturday and the ambition will be maximum points to cement their position at the top of the South & West Division.

How has this latest lockdown been for you and the players?

Farcical really, if I’m honest. We’ve all been working as normal, just couldn’t play football and have a beer after, the latter we still can’t do. But, we’re back Saturday and I can’t wait to get back out there! We’ve started the season strongly and hopefully that continues.

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You’ve just had your first training session, how special was it to be back working with the players?

It was great to get back to training last night, the lads showed no rust and seemed sharp despite the break. Of course, training is different to matches but to dust the cobwebs off was beneficial. We didn’t pick up any injuries either which was good and it was great to see Ashley Small resume full training, he’ll be back in the first-team squad Saturday and is raring to go after a lengthy lay-off.

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What do you expect from the weekend trip to Watcombe?

Watcombe ‘clicked’ before the lockdown and gave Lakeside a 5-1 hammering, so I’m sure they will be stronger than their table position shows. For us though, with the majority of the squad new to the club, every game is a cup game in terms of mentality. We don’t know an awful lot about the teams in our league and are just applying ourselves the best we can to come home with three points. This, of course, is our second meeting with Watcombe, however we played them very early in September on a Wednesday night, so they could of had non-regulars in their squad. That game ended 6-1 and if you offered me that right now, I’d obviously snap your hand off!

Have you set the team any targets for the Christmas period?

No, not at all. The ambition was always to have a strong assault on this league and finish in the top four. If, and when, we can confirm that spot, then the targets will change.

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