HELLENIC LEAGUE: Express delivery
PAUL Braithwaite says his Fairford players have bought into the ‘expressive’ ethos he has instilled at Cinder Lane this season.
Fairford were relegated from the Hellenic Premier in 2011/12 but have made a solid start to the Division One West season, sitting fifth after nine games.
The boss may have used no less than 30 players in all competitions already, but he insists this is little to do with his players’ performances and much more about the injury problems he has had to contend with.
“With the lads that have stayed from last year and the young lads that have come in, we’ve just let them play and they have bought into it really well,” said Braithwaite.
“They have worked on the shape and discipline, but that hasn’t stopped them expressing themselves.
“The only thing that has let us down has been the amount of injuries we’ve had, but hopefully we’ve got our bad patch out of the way now.
“Thankfully we’ve got a bit of depth in the squad, though it did go the wrong way for a bit.”
Fairford host North Leigh in the league tomorrow, who were thumped 5-0 by Wootton Bassett on Wednesday.
“I don’t read too much into that result,” said Braithwaite. “North Leigh ran Cricklade close at the start of the season so they seem a bit hit and miss.
“We will rest a couple of players for this weekend in preparation for the FA Vase game against Thame next weekend.
“For us as a club, it’s important we get the money from that competition if we can.”
Nathan Gambling, Steve Hall and Ash Taylor are all away this weekend so are unavailable for selection.
Recent signing Cameron McLarty will be hopeful of continuing his recent run of goalscoring form.
Fresh from their resounding win over North Leigh on Wednesday, Wootton Bassett are preparing to host Letcombe at Rylands Way.
And ex-Highworth striker Tom Dingle could make his first appearance for the club if boss Dave Turner decides to give him the nod.
Dingle, who can also play on the wing, has been signed at Rylands Way for a couple of weeks but unavailability has prevented him from turning out so far.
“He’s got a young family so I think he took a bit of a break from the game,” explained Bassett boss Dave Turner.
“But he agreed to sign for us and he brings a wealth of experience.
“Not only is he a really good player, he’s also a lovely lad and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Turner added: “I know Letcombe reasonably well - they have had the same people in charge for a long time now.
“Regardless of the personnel, they always try to play football, which should make for a good game as we’ll try to do the same thing.”