I strongly feel we are about to hit another gear soon, warns Old Bromleians boss Danny Wakeling
OLD BROMLEIANS manager Danny Wakeling says his side are going to find another gear soon.
The Bromley based outfit clinched the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division Two West title last season and are enjoying life in Division One West as they sit at the seven points clear at the top of the table with 34 points in the bag from their 14 league outings.
Broms welcome second-from-bottom side Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club Reserves to Lower Gravel Road tomorrow.
Their opponents have claimed only two wins from their 14 league games and are six points clear of basement side Orpington, who have lost all of their 12 league games this season after resigning from the Southern Counties East Football League First Division at the end of last season.
“Weather permitting, we are very much looking forward to our first game at home since 4th November,” said Wakeling.
“We’ve come out of that stretch of away games pretty well in fairness and done so without a single moan or groan. It’s just how the fixtures have tumbled and we’ve just dealt with it.
“We’ve had a freshen up since the Christmas break. That’s helped reinvigorate the first team environment and set a tone to keep all players on their toes.
“This has certainly helped the lads achieve three very good wins so far in January, 5-1 at Old Roan, 6-1 at Long Lane and 3-1 last week at Halls AFC.
“A key factor in these results has seen returns to first team action for Adam O’Neill, Simon Warman and Greg Barton.
“Both Adam and Simon have missed significant spells this season with injury. We’ve got results without them but there’s no doubt our performances just haven’t been as consistent without them. They add so much both on and off the pitch.
“Greg made his playing return a few weeks prior to Christmas having had 18 months out injured. He’s a very good player and has made a great recovery and will get better and better as each week passes.
“All three lads are very different players but add leadership, authority and inspire confidence in those around them.
“Something else that’s been great since Christmas has been the ability to change upwards from the bench again. Last season 28% of our goals came from game finishers in the last quarter of games. That was a brilliant element to our title winning season last year.
“Our players remain calm and confident throughout games at the moment as they have the mental memory of last season knowing they can and will finish games in a very, very strong manner. It’s a powerful tool mentally and also obviously physically for us to be able to do that yet again.
“Last weekend away at Halls, last seasons under 17 double winning captain, George Rolph, entered the fray in central midfield and acquitted himself really well.
“Albert Plant came into the game around 65 minutes in and scored the all-important third goal.
“Junior Kehinde has added strength and power as a centre forward off the bench as well. His infectious character also rubs off well on his team mates.
“Connor Walsh has been simply stunning off the bench as well. He’s been genuinely explosive and is a player with a lot of potential. He scored two brilliant goals at Old Roan in half an hour and followed that up with two superb goals off then bench at Long Lane as well. He’s out this week with a knock which is a shame as he is 100% due a start but that just presents an opportunity for someone to make that kind of impact as he really has raised the bar.
“We’ve got forwards scoring right across the club from first team level through to third team level which is absolutely ideal for us. It’s the sharp end of the pitch where games get decided so long may that continue.
“We’ve been able to utilise more of our talent from inside the club this year which is a major plus on last season and an indication of progress as a football club.
“At first team level I truly don’t think we’ve hit our stride yet in terms of playing to the consistently high level which I know we are capable of, yet as a club we have still achieved good results which in itself is an excellent trait to have.
“In patches the last three games have taken us some way towards how we played last year to a degree but I can visibly see that with the added mental and physical upgrade that comes on from the bench that our players are just beginning to tune in to some more belief and confidence. It’s all just part of the process of a football season.
“I strongly feel we are about to hit another gear soon but there’s no rush for us. As far as peak level is concerned, it’ll happen in a natural manner at some point because it’s what these players do and they have last season in the bank mentally as a reference point to add to that.
“As a management team we will continue to strive to lead and serve all of our players in order to help them keep improving overall club togetherness. We will continue to build that platform for all players to work and succeed right across the club. With that kind of work ethic our players will get closer knit and push each other positively.
“We will continue to seek to align the thorough application and positive attitude that is running through the club with the improved ability levels that the players have for them to all enjoy their football. Anything else on top of that is a bonus.”
Visit Old Bromleians website: www.bromleiansfc.co.uk
Old Bromleians v Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club Reserves
Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division One West
Saturday 27 January 2018
Kick Off 2:00pm
at Scrubs Farm, Lower Gravel Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8LL