Our players believe we can win both the League and FA Vase, says Phoenix Sports boss Steve O'Boyle

Friday 05th December 2014
PHOENIX SPORTS manager Steve O’Boyle says there is belief in his camp that they can go on and win the League and FA Vase this season.

The Kent club are sitting in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table, having collected eleven wins and three draws from their fourteen games.

They are five points adrift of Erith & Belvedere but with a couple of games in hand and are unbeaten in all 22 games this season (they lost on penalties to league rivals Deal Town in The FA Cup after a 3-3 draw after extra time).

Phoenix Sports travel to Alresford Town tomorrow in The FA Vase Third Round.

“What are we expecting? I’m expecting to go there and get a win basically,” said O’Boyle.

“They’re fifteenth in their division (Wessex Premier), they’re not having the best of seasons. 

“Obviously we’re on a massive high at the moment so I’m expecting to go there and get a win.”

Phoenix Sports go into the game on the back of a record 10-0 win at home to Holmesdale on Tuesday night.

“John-Paul Collier left their club a few weeks earlier and taken a few players with him to East Grinstead and it just seemed they didn’t want to be there basically,” claimed O’Boyle.

“We started really well and it was a bit of a stroll really in the end.  We were 6-0 up at half-time.  I basically took a couple of players off at half-time and one early in the second half resting them up for the Vase game.

“I was happy to have a game like that bearing in mind we’ve got a Vase game on Saturday.

“We played Holmesdale earlier in the season and it was a tough game and on their day we know they’re a very good side.

“I will say to you the other night they weren’t the best and they need to improve quickly.”

Reflecting on the club’s record breaking run of unbeaten form, O’Boyle said: “The FA Cup tie against Deal was our worst performance of the season by a long way!

“I keep on saying to people we’re on a fantastic run. We are playing well. The dressing room is fantastic.  I’ve got a good bunch of lads. They all get on well. We’ve got great team spirit down at Phoenix.  The whole club is buzzing at the moment, which you can imagine.

“We’ve never gone this far in The FA Vase. It’s only our second season so everything’s exciting.

“Everyone’s looking forward to tomorrow. What I will say is yes, it’s a fantastic run and we are playing really well.  Our defensive record is an absolute joke (having conceded only six goals in fourteen league games) but it is only December and good sides do it for the whole season and that’s what I said to our players.  I’ve told them to keep their feet on the ground. If you’re a good side you will do it for the whole season.”

When asked whether his side can claim the League title as well as win The FA Vase, O’Boyle replied: “You should speak to our players! If you speak to my players they believe they can yes. Our players believe they can win both.

“I know you’re laughing! What I will say to you is it will be a hard task to win The FA Vase. I’ve been around this football for a long time. There’s some very good clubs in the competition but what I will say to people is Tunbridge Wells got to the final the other year and they wasn’t very fancied.

“I’ve got a couple of boys in my side who were at Tunbridge Wells that year and they’re the ones spreading the belief in my camp.

“Regarding the league, we played Erith & Belvedere last week, who are top of the league. We didn’t go in it full-strength. We rested a few players up.  I believe they were at full-strength and we came out 3-0 winners.

“Erith & Belvedere are a very good side. First half it was an even game and second half I thought we played really well and ended up winning the game 3-0.

“If that’s going on current form, why not?

“What I will say, I’m not going to shout from the rooftops about winning leagues. It’s not impossible. It can be done.  I will say we’re massive underdogs.”

Greenwich Borough are sitting in 12th place in the table with 21 points – 20 points adrift of leaders Erith & Belvedere but Ian Jenkins’ side have five games in hand.

They reached the Fourth Qualifying Round of The FA Cup for the first time when they went down to a brave 2-1 defeat to Vanarama Conference North side Worcester City – who beat Coventry City in the First Round – and they travel to Horley Town in The FA Vase Third Round tomorrow so will be playing catch up.

O’Boyle added: “Greenwich Borough have still got a lot of games to play, but I do like an underdog.”

Visit Phoenix Sports’ website:  www.phoenixsportsclub.org

Alresford Town  v  Phoenix Sports
The FA Vase Third Round
Saturday 6th December 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Arlebury Park, The Avenue, Alresford, Hampshire SO24 9EP