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PROGRAMME NOTES FROM JS

18 January 2014

Today's game is off - but you can read what John Still wrote in his programme notes...

Good afternoon and welcome back to Kenilworth Road once again for what will be the second time this week.

Today we entertain a Wrexham side in the Skrill Premier and I wish a warm welcome to Andy Morrell and his staff and players plus the directors and the supporters who have made the long trip to Bedfordshire.

We’re back in league action this afternoon for the first time in two weeks following two matches in the FA Trophy against Cambridge. Sadly, we were edged out of the replay after a heavily deflected goal, but what can I say about the performance? It was a fantastic effort from the team that we selected. Three of the back four were under 19 and it goes without saying how satisfying their performances were against a full-strength Cambridge team. 

The displays by the team in the last two matches have shown me a lot about the group of players we have at this football club. We have a strong squad of senior players but equally we have a number of promising youngsters who have done themselves and the club proud when called upon this season. This is what gives me a huge buzz.

On Saturday Cambridge came back strong at us after we had led 2-0 but the draw allowed us the opportunity to give those players yet another game. In front of a good crowd in a competitive match, the tie was a better platform for them rather than a behind-closed-doors development match. I know for a fact how much those younger players especially, loved playing at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday. That experience and know-how will stand them in good stead. Luke Trotman, Ryan Inniss, Brett Longden, Ian Rees and Zane Banton will learn greatly from games like Tuesday and all of their performances were first class.

As well as the younger players’ performances were the professional displays of the senior players, including Jon Shaw, Solomon Taiwo and Anthony Charles. Those three have endured a frustrating season so far on the sidelines through injury but never have they complained. I have nothing but admiration for their efforts and I hope their professionalism and discipline can also help the likes of Luke, Zane, Ian and Brett in the long-run. 

It is nice to see many players coming back into the squad following injury, and between now and the end of the campaign we are under no illusions that we are going to need every single one of those players. We will have plenty of competition for places if all goes to plan but we will wait and see what happens. Over the last few weeks we have signed Kane Ferdinand and Cameron McGeehan on loan to strength us further and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome them both to Kenilworth Road. Cameron is a player we have tried to get hold of for a while now and I’m delighted we have been able to do so now. He is a strong competitor and his and Kane’s arrival fills the void left by Pelly Ruddock and Jonathan Smith’s injuries.

Between now and the end of the January transfer window there may well be some more ins and outs. It is important that some of our players get some competitive football other than development games and I hope I will be able to tell you more in the next few weeks.

This afternoon we face a Wrexham side who always represent a tough test. We are fully aware of the threats they will pose to us and we will making sure that we do everything in our powers to keep the three points here today. 

Please get behind us once again this afternoon. Remember this is a team game and that includes you, too. I look forward to your continued support between now and the end of the season. Encourage the players like you always do and enjoy the game.

John

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