MANAGER’S NOTES | South Manchester Derby, Maine Road, Monday 2 April
These are manager Steve Settle’s note from today’s programme, available on the gate for £2.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Brookburn Road for this afternoons South Manchester Derby against our M21 neighbours Maine Road! It goes without saying that we hope that all connected with our visitors enjoy the welcome we are renowned for and following today’s game we wish them well for the remainder of the season!
In the relatively short period in which I’ve been at West this fixture is always eagerly anticipated! Of course when we were first promoted we were the poor relations. 3 seasons on however it’s safe to say we have made strides forward on and off the pitch and the attendances and interest in our fixtures, coupled with the junior and women’s setup ensures that we are well prepared for a sustainable future. I think one of the keys to our progress is placing the community at the centre of our ethos and ideology. My eldest son Ollie has recently been attending U8s football skills sessions at the club on Sunday mornings, this latest Sunday saw an U16s game and U12s game followed by an U15s semi-final, followed by the women’s team game. There was a real buzz about the place with lots of familiar faces asking about the previous game and our upcoming fixtures! Of course, this came the day after our much needed victory against Congleton in front of over 450 fans, the highest crowd in the league! I’m sure that today we will be looking to top the 650ish spectators that attended this fixture last year. The junior Takeover day was again a resounding success and Tim assured me that all of the youngsters had enjoyed themselves. We are already looking forward to the Junior Takeover day next season.
The win against Congleton was vital. Particularly as those clubs beneath us all took points. Maine Road’s win at Barnoldswick was an impressive result and I’m sure we’ll have to be on top form to get the better of them today.
It was extremely pleasing to get Matty Kay back on the pitch against Congleton and we look forward to him playing a major role in the run in. His experience, creativity, and goals have been missed over the Winter months and I’m delighted to get him back! We also had some great news this week with Mark Rogers returning to training. We certainly won’t be rushing him before he’s ready but just to have him around the place will give all a big boost.
Last week was a huge week for Jack Sergeant. Everyone connected with our club was delighted when he got the call up and for Jack to play 90 minutes as Gibraltar recorded only their second competitive victory against Latvia made us all very proud! We’re delighted for him and we look forward to getting him back here to contribute to the remaining fixtures in our campaign.
Moving forward towards the closing weeks of the season the games come thick and fast, Brocks, Ecky, Rob and I are hopeful that we will be able to find some consistency which will see us move comfortably towards the top 10. Of course all the lads will be giving their all to make sure that starts today.
As always, thanks for the support and enjoy the game!
COME ON WEST!! #neindanke