A round up of news from the club’s second team:

The second team management team consists of Mick Snowden, Bob Barnes and Simon Brand. Simon, having recently joined the club, played for Ashford many years ago under Mick Snowden and is well respected and a marvellous acquisition for the club.

 

The going has not been easy for Mick and Bob who have had to regularly pick teams that change by up to seven players at a time. This is not so much to do with first team players getting a run as the nature of the mentality of the young second team players. As they are not getting paid and have generally been picked up from lower levels of football it has taken some of them some time to understand the self discipline and commitment required to play at this level. Certainly the team is run as far as possible as if they were a first team and therefore the expectation on them is probably greater than they expected.

 

That said, all the players have responded really well to the challenge with one or two really outstanding examples of commitment. Specifically, Sam Dania and Leke Somula who travel from South London and rarely miss a training session. Leke is also a member of the youth team squad. Sam is a friend of Bairoh Conteh and came to much of pre season training before suffering an injury. Therefore, when the season started he had not been able to play and was therefore an unknown quantity. He has a reasonably unusual style and is not naturally a team player. However after discussions with Mick and Bob he has been given a number of chances and is gradually making his mark on the team and starting to develop into an asset to the club.

 

The number of players available is not really an issue thanks to the support of the youth team. However, the balance of the team is always a problem with an abundance of midfield players and very few defenders. This problem has been managed by the regular selection of Jim Mann and Chris Robinson from the first team squad. Both have shown an excellent attitude and been an important part of the successful start to date. For them personally they have been able to play in a winning team that has structure and have performed to a standard that has allowed the second team management to report favourably on their individual performances.

 

A number of youth team players have now played a game or two for the second team and it is clear that there is a wealth of talent there. Mark has been a great help on a number of occasions and has assisted in the second team able to continually put out a well balanced and competent team. Luke Neville has played two games now and will clearly be coming to notice of the first team manager before long. He is a cultured stylish centre back with a great future.

 

The second team have now played eight league games and one cup game. They have won five drawn two and lost one of the league games whilst also being successful in the cup.

 

So all in all, it has been a good start to the new set up at Ashford after last year’s Capital League venture. It does appear that apart from their own results there are a few players coming to notice that will almost certainly be involved with the first team at some stage. Added to that is the bonus of being able to give those first team squad players not selected or coming back from injury a competitive environment that they can play in.