Ottery St Mary chairman reflects on the first quarter of the 2020/21 season


- Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary chairman Mikey Ringer takes a look at all things relative to his beloved Otters in our usual weekly chat, writes Steve Birley.

After the completing of the first quarter of the season, the Ottery chairman reflects on what has gone on so far.

He says: “Here we are almost into November, the clocks have gone back and we are set for another winter onslaught of wet pitches and called off games which, when coupled with the on-going Covid-19 problem, is going to make it a very interesting second quarter of the campaign.

“At Ottery we are very keen to play as much football as we possibly can and, to that end, will be arranging as much midweek football as we can for senior and junior teams alike.”

He continued: “Ambition at the club is at a high level, but controlled ambition also means controlled growth in every way.

“We fight on so many fronts at any time, we sit down and regularly look to plan things out for not this season not next season but seasons to come.

“Just this week I’ve had the chance to talk with some off the youth managers and players to look to plan for their future and, indeed, a clear pathway for them to continue to develop.”

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Speaking more specifically on playing matters, the Ottery chairman says: “Currently on the pitch, we are very happy with the way our men’s first team is progressing and yes, we will look to gain the step-up next season if we continue along the current path.

“Our reserves have been supporting this journey with players interchanging, as it should within a club structure, and yes, it’s well written about the fact that we were not happy about the leagues decision on where they placed the second team and it’s fair to say that both ourselves and Axminster Town Reserves are clearly ‘too strong’ for the division we are playing in, but it’s not all about success of the team. No, the bigger picture is that we are giving competitive football for those players who, in turn, will provide support to our first team.”

Turning his attention to the club’s third team, the Ottery chairman says: “Moving across and looking at the development squad, what a project this has been already this season, having a vehicle for those youngsters to find their feet being mentored by those more experienced players and having a couple of ‘just turned 16-year-olds’ growing week on week shows, that it’s working. Those lads are our future.”

He continued: “Looking across to the ladies’ side of the club life is one of complete emotion for me personally and one that it was a massive decision to step away from.

“We all knew this season would be one of transition, and that has been made even more difficult with the amount of injuries they currently have.

“However, what is very clear is that at no point has their passion, desire or commitment waned in any shape or form, and, rest assured, our ladies’ team will be a huge force within the local game in coming seasons.”

On a more general theme, the Ottery chairman says: “It is commonly known that I’ve been involved in football for as long as I can remember, if not longer, from days of turning up from school to find players at home chatting with the old man about up and coming matches, to playing myself and going along to watch my own team – West Ham United - to being talked into taking on an Under-8s team as coach and leading them all the way up to some of them playing for Buckingham Town Reserves, and then on and into senior football at all levels, but I can honestly say that where I sit right now I have never enjoyed or been so satisfied with football as I am now.”

The Ottery chairman rounded off this latest chat with: “This is a truly great club, with great people throughout. We continue to strive to be an integral part of the community and one thing I truly cherish is that I am able to leave a legacy that provides the area and the community with a football club that is solid in its foundation and is recognised throughout the county as a club to be respected and appreciated.

“Having said that, don’t be worrying. Yours truly is not going anywhere just yet. For sure, there’s lots more to be done yet and we are only on the first big strides of a long journey.”

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