Team bonding on Welsh weekend worth an extra 20 points says Buxton boss Paul Phillips

Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips
Buxton FC joint manager Paul Phillips

Buxton boss Paul Phillips believes the camaraderie generated by last weekend’s pre-season Welsh tour could add an extra 20 points to his side’s tally next season.

The Bucks comfortably won their two games on the field, scoring five goals in each, but Phillips said the most important thing was off the field, getting players to bond and integrating new faces into the dressing room, as he believes team spirit gets sides over the line in difficult games.

“The weekend was a big success on and off the pitch,” he said.

“It’s great the club footed the bill and sent us out there.

“Obviously the chairman believes in team bonding, as he does in his work place.

“It was great. We stayed in the best hotel and travelled on the best coach, so the players were spoiled.

“It was fantastic. We stayed over on the Friday and people that didn’t know the group are now integrated into the group.

“So rather than it taking three weeks it just took two or three days.

“That is massively important and I think it’s worth 15-20 points gained a season from having really good team morale.

“I think it pulls you over the line in certain matches.”

The two Welsh tier two clubs offered spirited opposition to a Buxton side that included five new signings.

On Friday night, they beat Conwy Borough 5-0 with goals from Diego De Girolamo, Liam Hardy (2), Brad Grayson and James Handley.

They then became the first Buxton side to ever play at Llangefni Town on Anglesey and came away 5-1 winners with Brad Grayson (2), Sam Kilner, Liam Hardy and Nico De Girolamo on the mark.

“They weren’t the greatest opposition, but we still dealt with them,” said Phillips.

“We played a younger team on the Saturday than we did on the Friday.

“The pitch wasn’t the greatest on the Friday, but we overcame that.

“Then on the Saturday we played a number of the younger lads but still rose to the challenge and did really well.”

Phillips believes he is just two players short of where he wants to be recruitment-wise for the big kick off.

“We still have two or three trialists left and I am off to watch a winger in action against a Football League club too,” he said.

“We are also trying to get a midfielder in on loan from the league above. If that works out it would be very good. If it doesn’t then we will go down another path.

“But, for me, we are not too far off right now.

“A lot of lads have made a play for starting come August, but we still have five games left where other people can push their claim forward.

“At this moment in time all we are missing really is a winger and a midfielder.

“We do already have lads who can play two or three positions.

“So, realistically, if we can get this winger in just to add a bit of pace up front, and a midfielder - an all-rounder who can give us a bit of presence - then I’d be quite happy.”

The manager is certainly delighted with fitness levels already with plenty of time to hone it even further.

“We did a double session on Friday night - we played the game and then did some running - and then we did a double session again on Saturday, so everyone is looking as fit as a fiddle,” he said.

“Everyone is looking sharp and everyone is looking good – and we have no injuries, which is another bonus.”

The Bucks play the first home friendly tonight (Wednesday) night against Trafford with Glossop NE the visitors on Saturday at 3pm. Prices for all the home friendlies have been fixed at £5 and £3 with U16s free of charge.