Sidmouth Town latest - Clay returns as Vikings target Elburton success
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town head for Elburton Villa tomorrow (Saturday) hoping above hope that the game goes ahead.
The Vikings, like so many other football clubs the length and breadth of Devon, have had a miserable time of late with games being called off as a result of waterlogged playing surfaces.
Town boss Danny Burwood says: "It has been such a frustrating season to date.
"From our perspective the stop-start nature has certainly not helped our young squad.
"We played Axminster and did well against them and you go away from the game thinking 'yep, we are on our way now' but then the rain comes down and you don't play for a couple of weeks until you are then tasked with taking on a very good Ilfracombe Town outfit who you lose to, and naturally there's doom and gloom and, because you are not playing regularly, it does not allow you to get up any sort of momentum."
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Town have been able to keep training - they have been on the all-weather surface at Cranbrook and numbers for the regular Monday sessions have been very good.
Burwood says: "Monday nights have been good with 16 or 17 lads at each session and we certainly do not have a problem at this club with player numbers.
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"I see lads itching to not only play, but to begin getting continuity of games and we are really hoping that we now see just that.
"The thing is that with all the cancellations, and all clubs are the same, we are now left with a congested run-in and we can certainly do without any more bad weather and further postponements."
Town have 15 matches left, eight at home and seven away and, as things stand ahead of the game at Elburton Villa, it means the Vikings playing 15 games in a period of nine weeks.
For the Town boss, it's now a question of 'targeting' a number of those remaining games as 'the ones' that they can be competitive in.
He explained saying: "In all my years of being involved in the game I have tended to operate on the basis of taking each game as they come, but now, with my management hat on, I have changed this season for I now find myself looking at the remaining 15 games and making sure that we are at our best for what I will call the 'key' games - and there are probably as many as eight of the last 15 that fall into that category."
Town visit Elburton looking to improve on the 6-2 defeat they suffered to the Plymouth side when the teams met at Manstone Lane in late September.
Burwood remembers that game well and says: "It was not a good day for us, but we were seriously hamstrung that day with a number of lads missing through injury and illness and I think they [Elburton] may find us a very different proposition this time round."
As for team news, the Town boss says: "Danny Clay is back having been unavailable for a couple of weeks and, with such good numbers at the weekly training sessions, we have a fully fit squad raring to go and all I ask now of the weather gods is that they please give it a rest on the wet stuff front!"