Sunday, 6 September 2009


My column in The Leader last Friday focussed on the effect of international breaks on the team, particularly the impact of Dean Saunders' absence from Colliers Park.
While that's clearly an important issue, particularly when you consider the remarkable record Denis Smith enjoyed after he'd been allowed an extended opportunity to work with his squad, I completely neglected perhaps the more important question. Is it worth playing on in order to avoid falling behind the rest of The league?
Admittedly The Conference is taking action to try and avoid the ludicrous fixture congestion it has suffered in recent seasons by insisting that teams rearrange postponed games as swiftly as possible.
Already I've paid the price for this, thinking I was a genius for arranging a few days away during an empty midweek and then finding I'd miss the Tamworth match because I was in Moscow! Actually, considering the performance, perhaps I got a lucky break there!
The two games we're missing out on now will be played before Christmas, so we do have a chance to make up the ground we lose, but it is disheartening to see that the top of the table is already ten points away, and that the gap is likely to be wider again after the midweek fixtures.
At least, from a financial point of view, none of the games we've lost so far have been Saturday home games. Also, it can't hurt Chris Maxwell and Neil Taylor to play their part in beating Italy's finest-and the value they attach to their youth teams, bolstered by the Primavera system, means that beating the Italians at any level is always a serious achievement.

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