Ottery reserves on the title trail

Ottery football club. Ref shsp 36 19TI 9315. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery football club. Ref shsp 36 19TI 9315. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary Reserves resume their season in Division 2 East of the Joma Devon & Exeter League with a visit from Exeter United on Saturday. 
The Otters have suffered more than most from the reset of the league tables, with a number of their earlier victories expunged due to those teams opting against restarting competitive football before next season. 
While it all means the Otters resume 12 points behind leaders Axminster Town Reserves, they do have three games in hand and huge enthusiasm from the players to hit the ground running. 
“A few teams have decided not to continue, which means a number of our results have been eradicated, but we’ve still got 10 fixtures to play and we can hopefully push for the title,” said manager Ashley Smith. 
“We came back to training on Tuesday night and the players were absolutely buzzing. We had a superb turnout and I was pleasantly surprised with how quick the tempo was after such a long break. 
“The players looked hungry and a lot of them had obviously been working hard on their fitness through lockdown. 
“We’re lucky to still have something to play for and battling for a league title. 
“We trained with the first-team on Tuesday and a good 30 players wanting to play this weekend. The first-team have a friendly against Buckland Athletic Reserves on Friday and we then play on the Saturday. 
“It is great the first-team will also have silverware to play for in the Devon Football League competition and our development side are joint-top of Division 4 East. 
“There might be a few disappointed players when the teams are selected but it is very much a squad game, and matches will come thick and fast over the coming weeks. 
“We’re very fortunate to have such a big group of eager players looking to put on the shirt. 
“Training was very high on quality and intensity. We are one squad, with players who have gone up to the first-team and a real togetherness between everyone. 
“From a reserve point of view, it’s great to have that level in training because it increases the standard.” 

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