With a week’s break from Evo-Stik action, Rainworth MW manager Kevin Gee (pictured) reflected on a pleasing start that the Wrens have made to the new League campaign and was now looking forward to the double header of FA Cup and Doodson Cup.
He said: “As with every new league season, there’s always expectation that this season is going to be better than the last one, and teams which have struggled last season are going to do the same this season.
“However, no two seasons are ever the same, and this one has already proved how difficult it’s going to be, with only one team yet to put any points on the table and I fully expect them too, with the players they have and everything settles down.”
He was also full of praise for his squad, addding: “Although we are only four games into the season, to take seven points from a possible 12 and be unbeaten away from home is a fantastic effort from a brand new group, who are learning and improving all the time.
“Monday’s local derby against Eastwood Town proved that, when they surprised us with the system they played, and we had to dig deep and change our formation at half-time.
“I thought we were terrific in the second half and deserved a point that could have actually been three with a bit of luck in the dying seconds.”
Kevin also gave an insight into the planning and maintaining of a squad in preparation for a long Evo-Stik and, hopefully, Cup campaign.
“With such a large squad I have loaned three members out. Ashley Kitchen is at Sutton Town, Jordan O Callaghan is at Ollerton Town and Joe French will this week go out on loan to Oadby Town, to try to get match minutes and a few goals to build his confidence up.
“With a big squad this year and now virtually all fit for selection, rotation of the squad to keep everybody match fit and not just gym fit is going to be really important.
“With the FA Cup taking priority this weekend I will be using the Loughborough game on Tuesday to ensure all the remainder of the squad have played at least one 90 minute game in the first six games, as it’s really important.
“It is a long season and injuries, suspensions and unavailabilities will always happen. It isn’t fair asking any squad member to come straight into the team without any match minutes under their belts and expect them to hit the ground running.”
Currently Kevin has only Grant Ryan still recovering from a long-term injury, but the medical reports are indicating a return sometime next month.
He is also hopeful that James Cullingworth and Scott Rickards will be available, having hopefully shaken off niggling injuries.
“We now turn our attention to the FA Cup which although in its early stages for teams in our Division you are only five matches away from the first round proper, which should always be the aim of any non-League players.
2I was fortunate enough to play in the first round with Matlock away at Scunthorpe United some 23 years ago and, although we got a bit of a hiding in front of 4500 people, it’s a reminder how special these games are.
“We know what Dunkirk are about, and have had them watched this season,.
“They are a very good side and have started well, so it will be just like another Evo-Stik game, a one off game and their cup final. A good run for us in either the FA Cup or Trophy, hopefully both, is a source of revenue, which financially is really important for a club like ours.”