Been very quiet this season in terms of first team news, and apologies for this – work and other commitments have made it difficult for me!
It’s been a very strange season for us. I think 5 years ago when we formed and were messing about in the Bury League, we’d have taken our current position in Division one and Junior Cup quarter final still to play. However, I am ambitious as are all the players and committee, so I think we all feel like we should be perhaps sitting a little higher in the league. One thing I have learnt is that this division is unforgiving and extremely strong. 5 of the 8 quarter finalists in the BCC are made up of division 1 sides with TRD and Kesgrave knocking out Henley and Felixstowe Harpers – highlighting that strength. Other than Claydon, TRD and possibly Kesgrave (who have games in hand), I think every other manager in this league will say they’ve let games go that they shouldn’t have and feel like they should be higher in the division!
After a number of successful seasons with cup wins and titles, this year was always going to be about surviving a tough league and springing a surprise along the way – which we have done, so I think we have plenty to build on. The last few weeks in particular have seen us play some very good stuff at times and in an attacking sense, I honestly believe us to have some of the most dangerous attacking players in this division. Austin, Sneddon, Webster….and a few more are all capable of winning us games.
We are probably in a slight transition, with Banny moving to Bramford and us acclimatising to life in division one, but one thing I must say is the attitude and commitment from everyone at the club is the best I have known. When you have a season like we have had, the real players stand up, and not one player has let us down. Every single player has felt disappointment this season in different ways but they have stuck together and worked as a team. This was highlighted in our recent win against Old Newton where we were a little short and called on the reserves, and they didn’t disappoint.
Still a long way to go and hopefully we can gather some momentum, but my eyes are already on next season and using this season as a foundation to build on. We brought Stu Miller in from Wickham this season and I must say, he’s fitted in very well. He knows a lot of players but has also quickly developed an understanding of the Barham players and has made a big impact.
Lastly, I think our reserves deserve a mention. They are having a fantastic season. Only dropped 3 points in the league and are still in the Primary Cup, with their quarter final coming very soon. Steve Double has done a brilliant job there and he’s a been very supportive of the first team as well, which as many clubs will know, is not always an easy thing for a reserve manager to do. Many of the reserve players are capable of playing higher but the team spirit is perfect and that is down to Steve and the management. Hopefully we see many of the reserves in the first team over the coming years.
Not sure how the season will end up for either side, but by seeing the bigger picture I think we should all be proud of how far this club has come in such a short space of time. Division One is a beast and in my time with the SIL it is the strongest I have known it to be. Every game is a test and one which we are enjoying.