Sidmouth Town dealt a blow on the eve of the new league season
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town were dealt a blow on the eve of the new South West Peninsula League campaign when Martyn Hancock, who had been appointed captain to lead the senior side into their new life as a Premier East side, decided he could not commit for the season and has left the club.
That comes on top of the news that Dan Churchill has opted to play more locally to him in the Macron Devon & Exeter League and the vastly experienced Chris Duchenski, a player who has given great service to local football over many season's, but who suffered a broken arm at the back end of last season, has decided to hang up his boots.
It is all hardly ideal news for Vikings boss Danny Burwood to take as he plots the course ahead for the team who really could not have been given a tougher start having four of their first five games away from home - and they are playing four times in the first nine days of the campaign - three of those away!
Burwood says: "It is what it is and, as a manager you simply have to accept that these things do happen.
"I don't think we have been helped with what is a shocking early season run of away games and I know that the increased travel this season has put a lot of players off."
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He continued: "I remember when I was younger and playing in the Western League with Exmouth Town I used to love the travel bit and saw it very much as part of a 'matchday', but these days that seems to no longer be the case for many players."
Speaking about the loss of key players, Burwood says: "It's going to make things that but tougher. However, one massive strength about Sidmouth Town is the fact we have four senior teams and a conveyor belt of young talent and so there's never a shortage of players - or quality."
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He continued: "It will take a while for things to settle down and, if I am honest, we do still need a couple of players to add something to the squad. We will get them, but I must also say I am delighted with what we are starting the season with. We will be playing a different way to last season and I think we are very capable of upsetting a few teams."