Thumbs up for football at Sidmouth Town

Action from the Sidmouth Town 6-0 South West Peninsula League Premier East win over Stoke Gabriel. P

Action from the Sidmouth Town 6-0 South West Peninsula League Premier East win over Stoke Gabriel. Picture: MARK EBURNE - Credit: Archant

Vikings at Torrington

Sidmouth Town return to the Devon Football League with a trip to Torrington on Saturday.

The Vikings are itching for the chance to get more points on the board and build on a positive spell prior to the second lockdown. The final request from everyone at the club is for the winter weather to play its part.

“Everybody at the club is really looking forward to getting back into football,” said manager Danny Burwood.

“All the lads are buzzing.

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“I’ve got a fairly young squad, so we shouldn’t have to worry too much about their personal fitness levels.

“The hope now is that the weather holds out, we can play and get some points on the board, as we have done so far this season.

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“It is typical the weather has been fine during lockdown.

“Training is still a bit of a challenge because a lot of our winter facilities involves local schools or colleges.

“Unfortunately, a lot of them are closed but we will get back to some sort of training from next week.

“I just hope that we can get through December with the weather being kind and people being available over Christmas.

“There are a few teams trying to get earlier kick-off times and some clubs do have to adjust their circumstances to fit in with the rules.

“As long as things can be worked out, it will be great to get back playing because everyone has missed their football.

“If we do restart again, I would love to think we can finish the season.”

After the Torrington trip, Sidmouth are back on the road for games with Ilfracombe and Plymouth Marjon.

It all adds up to a brutal schedule but enthusiasm within the camp is a major source of comfort and confidence for Burwood.

Town endured some tough times last season and, like Torrington, were struggling at the wrong end of the table in the South-West Peninsula League, but things have certainly improved, with both sides currently in the middle of the pack.

“We are looking great for Saturday and the biggest thing for me was the response we’ve had from the lads,” added Burwood.

“They’ve really enjoyed this season so far, and it probably tells in the results.

“The Bovey Tracey game before lockdown was a little frustrating because we created so many chances but had to settle for a draw. If we had won that, it could have taken us up to a respectable ninth in the table, with games in hand.

“It is a big well done to our lads because, from where we were last season, they have been outstanding.

“It is down to their hard work and wanting to improve on last season.

“I put out a message the other day and explained that circumstances mean people might have to drive but the response was superb. “There was not one person with a thumbs down.

“Our next three games are all away, taking us to Torrington, Ilfracombe and Plymouth Marjon.

“It’s not the best way to restart.”

While there is only one point between the Vikings and Torrington in the table, Town have two games in hand and happy memories from the reverse fixture in October.

Sidmouth were ruthless in defeating Torrington 7-1 under the floodlights at Manstone Lane, with Luke White bagging a hat-trick.

There will be lessons Burwood can take from that game but he is also mindful that Torrington will want some revenge.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game against Torrington earlier in the season because both clubs struggled last season,” said Burwood.

“I’ve taken a few things from the first game at our place and it was a great result for us. We scored seven goals and obviously finished our chances very well.

“We are away from home on Saturday, we don’t know what the pitch will be like but, looking at the last game, Torrington looked a little disheartened once we got in front.

“I would like to think that a good start on Saturday could be important.

“On the other hand, it is the first game back and Torrington will want to get some payback. “You can’t look too much at the last game, it is a different challenge and they will be trying 20% harder. “Our objective is to put on a good performance and get the three points. “That is the ideal way for us to make a return to football.”

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