Vikings boss hoping fresh faces will bring team boost

Sidmouth Town at home to Brixham. Ref shsp 07 20TI 7982. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Brixham. Ref shsp 07 20TI 7982. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The Sidmouth Town manager has said building team chemistry is more important than winning games as his side began their pre-season campaign.

Speaking about his sides’ pre-season, Danny Burwood said: “We’ve had three sessions now. We’ve got some fresh faces coming in and I’m getting text messages left, right and centre at the moment with availability.

“It’s that time of year. Some people are gagging to get back and some are even calling for extra training which is a good sign.”

Burwood was speaking before his side’s first friendly of the pre-season against Heavitree United. He said: “Over the years, I’ve liked to get in the habit of winning before the season actually starts so you get a bit of momentum going but with everything how it is at the moment it’s literally to try out the new faces.

“We want to win and do well during pre-season but it isn’t my main objective this year, the objective this year is to get pen to paper for some players and get the team familiar with each other.”

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The Vikings manager was not keen to set a target foir the upcoming South West Peninsula League Premier East season but instead hoped his side would finish in a ‘respectable’ position. He said: “My first goal would to be get the season underway on September 5 and I’d like it to start and finish which all depends on government guidelines.

“Another would be an improvement on last year. We had a mass exodus of senior players last year so this season I want a consistent squad with a bit more commitment.

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“Now that the lads and the club know what is needed for this standard of football, I’m hoping we will get a run together, win some games and finish in a respectable position in the league.”

The FA have announced that all friendlies between steps 1-7 on the non-league pyramid will be behind closed doors and Burwood agreed with the decision. He said: “It’s a fine one. It’s the government first then the FA and there is so many guidelines they’ve got to follow. It’s not just spectators or players, it’s the people who run the club.

“As you can see from the newspapers, the progress of the pandemic isn’t slowing down and I just think that anything like people going and watching matches will only cause unrest and stress that’s not needed.

“To have no people at games, I understand that is probably a good idea purely because it’s not fair on the people that are there and want it done properly. If you get a rowdy bunch and the club has to go out and man that then I don’t think that’s something that our level really want to have to do it.

“I think during pre-season, everyone can go without a little bit of football but what we do what to know is if we are going to be starting on September 5.

“If you’re not allowed to watch at the Crucible or the Oval [where crowds were piloted before the changes in lockdown rules], I don’t know how they are going to allow grassroots football to start.”

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