We just get blown out of the water, says VCD Athletic boss Tony Russell

Thursday 11th September 2014
VCD ATHLETIC manager Tony Russell says he’s being priced out of the transfer market in his bid to bring in new players.

The Crayford-based club have found life tough in their inaugural Ryman Premier League campaign, picking up only four points from their first nine league games.

AFC Hornchurch won their first game of the season with a 2-0 win at Oakwood on Tuesday night, courtesy of goals from striker George Purcell, 26, and central defender Omar Beckles.

The two sides are locked on the same number of points, but the Essex side remain at the foot of the table, with Russell’s side one place higher.

“The last three weeks we’ve missed out on four players to teams in the same league,” said Russell.

“It was virtually done. We just can’t compete financially. We’re getting blown out. We’re not even close either! I’m talking £200-£300 out, not even close!

“I’m identifying the players we want but as soon as anyone gets wind of it we just get blown out of the water.

“That’s not a dig at the club at all because we’re always living within our means. I don’t want to get to the end of the season and be crippled with debt and rightly so. We just have to keep working to try to get the right people in.”

Russell admits he needs a striker who can score goals as six players have each scored a goal this season.

“We haven’t got someone who can go past someone. We haven’t got that pace and that power to go past someone so it is a tricky one,” he said.

Russell insists he is going to keep playing his attractive style of football but his side continues to pass the ball sideways and backwards even when they were losing to the Urchins in midweek.

He said: “No-one’s dominated us. It’s that dilemma. I think it works but if I don’t get people in the right positions who are going to work with that it’s like walking around with a gun with no bullets.”

When asked about his side’s precarious position inside the relegation zone, Russell said: “I don’t think we are (in a relegation battle), I generally don’t. I know it sounds stupid.

“I remember you saying to me this time last year when we played Tilbiry and we beat them 3-2 and you said are you in a title race and I said I really don’t look at the table. I wasn’t saying that to fob you off, I generally don’t look at the table.

“If I didn’t know the problem then I don’t think I’ll be able to fix it.  You stood and watched the game, you can tell me?

“I know we’re getting the boys in the right positions. I know we’re controlling the game. I know we’re stopping the other team from playing. I know we’re making them go long and keep giving the ball back.

“What I need to work out is how I’m going to get players in the final third who can deliver in this level of football.

“Young Alfie May’s doing well (scoring 15 goals in the Southern Counties East Football League for Erith & Belvedere) and good luck to him but it’s a big difference in this level of football.”

VCD Athletic enter The FA Cup in the First Qualifying Round and welcome league rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough to Oakwood on Saturday.

The Beavers are one place above the Vickers, having collected two wins and a draw from their nine league outings.

There’s £3,000 up for grabs for this game, money that the Kent club cannot afford to throw away.

“The report I’ve got for them, they’re decent,” said Russell.

“Most teams in this league are decent.  It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, even if we were in the league below.

“I think we’ll be the same. You look at last year we had the four with 20 goals between them and at the moment we look like we’re not going to score so it’s always a worry if you’re not scoring goals. That’s the most important thing. You can do what you like in a game, if you don’t score goals, you don’t score goals.

“The prize money is vital for the club. Any help you can get is welcome so obviously we have to try to give something back to the club, which has been good to us.”

VCD Athletic are scheduled to welcome Dulwich Hamlet to Oakwood next Tuesday, which has the makings of a great game of football to watch between two great passing sides.

“I’ll look forward to it.  I’ve known Gavin (Rose) for a long time. We grew up together so it will be nice to see him,” said Russell.

“They’re a good side. It should be a good game of football. It has the makings of a decent match.

“Points make prizes,” added Russell.

“You’re the one talking about it.  My initial thing is to try to get a squad together that can look to score some goals, that’s the main thing. We’ve got to deal with that.”

Visit VCD Athletic’s website:  www.vcd-athletic-fc.com

VCD Athletic  v  Hampton & Richmond Borough
The FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 13th September 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN