8 August 2015
The Scholars play in the Midland League Premier Division
, and our league programme begins today. What better time to take a look at the squad?
The star ratings come from my assistant manager, former Wigan defender Kevin Sharp
. He's a fairly good judge of talent.
is the club captain. I wish he were more determined, but otherwise he's a fine 'keeper. He's also our penalty taker, so he might get to score a few goals, too. Waldram
is an outstanding second choice. He's very good with the ball at his feet.
I ask quite a bit of our fullbacks, expecting them to join in the attack when the opportunity to do so arises. Legg
is a solid option at right back. There's been quite a battle for the left back spot; Brown
, and Gilbey
all offer different strengths. Davies
outplayed the others in the preseason, so he might get the first opportunity to start.
Former Rochdale man Horan
is the best of the center backs, and probably the best outfield player in the team. Hempshall
is big and strong, while Koczalski
is tenacious and quick. Switon
can also do a job here, as can the very versatile Killner
I'll sort these lads according to their roles.
brings a touch of class to his destroyer role. Switon
can play here, too.
Two days ago, Merthyr Town swooped in and signed Max Herbert
, who had been bossing the midfield for us. I can't blame Max for wanting to make some money playing football, but his departure leaves a big hole in the middle of our formation. I'm considering Switon
as his replacement, but I'm also looking for a new man here.
I saw Hamilton-Forbes
at Trial Day, and offered him a contract. The former Watford youth trainee has looked good as a midfield playmaker.
The other players on this list are better suited to play other places, but you can see how they can provide cover here, too. Horan
, in fact, would probably be our best DM, and a darn good CM, too.
I like our wide men to be able to operate well in more advanced positions (to suit my 4-1-2-2-1) and slightly deeper (when we play 4-4-2).
plays on the left, where he can cut in on his strong right foot. Johnston
, our youngest player at age 16, provides lots of pace on the right.
The versatile Davies
can play anywhere on the left side of our formation, so they are options on the wing when they're not at fullback. Or, I can use Berwick
, who is an absolute wizard on set pieces. Most of our strikers can also play the right wing, so I have several backups--which is good, because these players run a lot and get tired.
There are two obvious "big man/little man" pairings here, which will come in handy when I play 4-4-2.
is our newest player; head scout/Director of Football Michael Skubala
spotted the Scot, we brought him in on trial, he banged in a goal, and we signed him. He's the most natural goalscorer in the group. Otim
, a Nottingham Forest trainee, is a similar player, with a bit more of an eye for a pass.
are the target men, both able to hold up the ball and play in their partners or finish a move themselves. All four of the strikers are fairly quick, too.
None of these players has made the number nine shirt his own. We're basically still holding an open audition for the role of front man in our band.
I'm fairly happy with the team right now. I'm looking for an all-action central midfielder, the kind of player I lost when Max Herbert left the team.
I also learned that when a player turns 22, he's ineligible to play for us any longer. That's how the game ensures the Scholars retain their status as a university side. This also means I'll lose the services of Hamilton-Forbes
, and Brown
over the course of the season. SHF
appears to have only a month left in his Loughborough Uni career. Managing this turnover will add another dimension to the experience; that's for sure.
We're tipped to finish in the middle of the table, and I think that's a fair assessment of where we stand. If I can uncover a few gems to replace the lads who age out of the team, perhaps we can challenge for the championship.