Ottery St Mary chairman speaks about exciting developments at the club

Ottery at home to Buckland Athletic. Ref shsp 06 20TI 7550. Picture: Terry Ife

Ottery at home to Buckland Athletic. Ref shsp 06 20TI 7550. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

We caught up with Ottery St Mary chairman Mikey Ringer to see how things are in relation to the Otters and the on-going ‘football lockdown’.

Mikey says: “It seems to have been ‘forever’ since we last played the game we all love. And, while that is so frustrating for all, it is equally so very important that we all keep within the restrictions that are imposed on us so that we can come out the other end sooner rather than later.”

The Otters chairman, who is also the manager of the Otterettes [the Ottery ladies’ team] continued: “It would be fair to say though, that even with no football being played, we have not been allowing the grass to grow under our feet!

“Of course, with the sun shining on a regular basis, the grass is indeed growing but we are continuing with all the general good housekeeping tasks at the club and, even at a time when we have zero income, I have been touched, and indeed we, as a club, are blessed with having so many offers of help and assistance to keep the club going and to get everything ready for when we get the green light to get back to playing.”

Speaking about the club in general, he said: “We have looked at the overall club structure and are in the process of finalising a few things before we are able to make an announcement in respect of the youth structure as well as the adult section that will give the club even more depth. We are very conscious that, as the town of Ottery grows, we as a community club need to grow with it and indeed, be ready to cater for the increased demand on our facilities.”

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He continued: “I am delighted to be able to announce that Matty Daly has agreed to continue as manager of the club’s Development XI. Matty will be assisted by David Weeks and Billy Dainton. All three have years of experience under their belts all the way up to the professional level of the game with Matty having been involved with Leyton Orient and while ‘Weeksy’ has of course worked with both the England and Wales international set-ups.

“Billy has a football background that includes involvement with Southern League outfit Aylesbury and Chalfont St Peters.

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“The Ottery Development XI, since its launch last year under Matty [Daly], has already produced for the club several first team players. These youngsters have grown so much, not only in terms of on-pitch experience, but they have received the best of mentoring that has installed into them a sense of professionalism along with the desire that will stand them in good stead on and off the field.”

The chairman added: “The development team is key to our continued success and is the link between youth and adult football. It remains a big aim for us to have a reserve team playing, as close as is possible, to the standard of the first team, so that we can provide a natural progression through the playing ranks. “Ideally that reserve team would enable players to transition from development XI into the second team and onwards to the Ottery 1st team.

“I know that Matty is looking forward to working with our new manager Billy [Rouse], nurturing the younger players so that they are given the grounding they will need to ultimately step up into the clubs senior team.”

The chairman rounded off our chat with: “Hopefully we will be able to announce more exciting news in the coming weeks. We are working hard to make that Ottery reserve team a reality as indeed, we are beavering away to ensure that we have the additional playing space we are going to need as we offer even more people the opportunity of playing football at our club.”

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