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Boston win highlights squad strength
I’M loving every minute with the Worcester City squad, the players have been magnificent and they’re a pleasure to work with.
If ever a game showed how strong our group is it was Tuesday’s 3-2 victory at Boston United when we won without Kevin O’Connor and Tom Thorley.
Kevin and Tom were great acquisitions last season and have been major players for us during a solid campaign.
When we came out of Conference South and back into the North, players looked at Worcester and weren’t sure if they wanted to play for us because we had struggled.
This year it’s been easier to convince players to come and sign for us. Now, I’m getting players ringing me to say they want to join us because they think we’ve got a great chance of doing well.
However, a lot of thought went into assembling the squad last summer.
The first thing was to sign two goalkeepers who would provide genuine competition for each other because it’s very easy to fill the bench with a keeper who’s just happy to be there.
James Dormand started the season as number one, during which time Matt Sargeant’s application and attitude was superb.
Jimmy, though, suffered a calf injury in January and had to be patient to get his place back but he supported Matt when he was in the team.
Now it’s flipped round again but when I told Matt last Saturday I was going back with Jimmy for a bit of extra experience, he was brilliant.
We also looked at balance in all areas and securing key positions such as central defenders and a target man.
Then we looked to add some pace into the side because I felt we were a little bit light in that respect last season.
Having put together a squad, in January Matt Gardiner and myself didn’t think the goals against column would keep us in the top half of the table so we made bold decisions, such as releasing Neil Cartwright.
He’s since gone to Nuneaton, who are one of our rivals, and I am not surprised by that because he’s an exceptional player. It wasn’t a personal thing, I just felt that we needed to shake things up.
But the new players have settled down. Ellis Deeney is a natural left-footer and he’s been a great acquisition and we built on that with Stuart Whitehead.
Now we’ve added Greg Mills and Dwayne Samuels and, if you look at our side now, we’ve got a lot of pace, especially in the full-back areas and out wide.
I think we’re now a different type of team from the start of the season but we’ve got a lot of energy in the side.
Everything is beginning to come together, sometimes you have to be patient but we are getting there.
The boys are hungry and want to do well. If we get in the play-offs, fabulous, if not then I can’t ask any more of them because they’ve been magnificent.