Lee Shepherd shares his thoughts after his reserve sides 3 v 1 success over Poppies

We caught up with Lee after his sides 3 v 1 victory over Poppies in their Wyvern league opener

Welcome back to league football buddy, must've been frustrating with the fixture cancellations trying to keep focused? 

The past few weeks have been extremely frustrating for me and the players. Some lads changed there shift patterns at work last week, so they could play Friday night for it then to be called off the night before!! So it’s good to finally get underway this weekend.

That 3v1 away win against the Poppies has to be as close to a perfect start to the season as it gets?

It would have been nice to get the clean sheet. On another day we could have scored a few more goals but last season our biggest problem was putting the ball in the net, so to score 3 on the opening game is good. It’s a good start but we still have a lot to work on as a group.

Craig could've quite easily been in goal today. How did he react to being striker, and you've got to be pleased you put him up top after notching two?

I had an extremely tough decision to make this season. Craig was my player of the year last season playing in goal and Billy has since joined the club and is technically brilliant. So this decision made sense to play Craig upfront and put Billy between the sticks. I think he enjoyed it and took his second goal really well. If he gets a little bit fitter he will be a big asset for us.

ny stand-out performances for you?

Collectively it was a solid performance. I wouldn’t say we had any individuals who stood out above the rest. Conditions were tough, it was a very hot day and the game wasn’t always played at a very high tempo.

Youngsters Jack Keen, Callum Chugg, Reece Macey and Kieran Roche have all shown the importance of having a second side to progress physically and adjust to mens football which is evidently benefiting the first team this season. Rob Bassett made the step up from the 18's and Billy Coleman has a bright future ahead, so how did the younger players get on and are you hoping for more success stories this season?

Having a Reserves is a no brainier for any club that has enough players. This season the first team have already used over 20 players which backs up my point straight away. It’s good that we now have more of a structure at the club with the under 16’s and 18’s. This now acts as a conveyor belt each season to improve the men’s sides. This weekend we didn’t have too many young players in the squad but Billy was as expected very composed and in control of everything throughout the game. Young Rob Bassett come on towards the end of the game and will only learn from playing alongside players like Liam and Jimmy. I’ve always said to the lads in the changing rooms if they aren’t doing it on the pitch.we have an under 18’s team who have some very good players that I can bring in. Some under 18’s will definitely get a chance this season.

What's next up for your reserve side?

Next Saturday we travel to laverstock and then we have Bashley at home midweek in the cup. So let’s hope for more of the same

In other news, reports are coming out that a pissed up darts reveller decided he was going to showcase his footballing talents by stealing one of our footies from the bag, but you had other ideas and the fella suddenly thought he was there for the waterside boxing (obviously a talented lad!) Have you got any more to say about the incident, and was he any good because we've got forms in the tea hut?

No comment :-)

All the best for saturday buddy, and congratulations on your opening day victory.