HELLENIC LEAGUE: Stevens has planned for postponement
6:00am Friday 25th January 2013 in By Ned Payne
SHRIVENHAM manager Mark Stevens is so confident that Saturday’s game at Highmoor Ibis will be off that he has already made contingency plans.
The Barrington Park side are desperately in need of points to aid their Hellenic Premier survival bid, but with snow and low temperatures lingering, the chances of this weekend’s clash going ahead appear minimal.
Stevens has managed to beat off competition to tee up indoor facilities at Ridgeway Leisure Centre for Saturday, in order to make sure his players maintain their fitness levels.
“We didn’t have many options, put it that way,” said the boss.
“We trained indoors at New College on Tuesday and I’ve got the hall (at Ridgeway) booked on Saturday. It’s quite important to keep us going.
“It keeps the players ticking over and keeps them together, if we don’t do it they will lose their fitness, focus, timing and touch. Everything, really.”
On the likelihood of tomorrow’s game going ahead, Stevens said: “I don’t know what it’s like out there (Reading), but I’d say it’s very doubtful. I’d imagine it will be a Saturday morning job.”
There might not have been much on-pitch action of late but Stevens has been busy off it, bringing striker Lee Simms back to the club.
Simms, who played under Mark Love at the Rec, also had a spell at Fairford but has been out of the game for a significant period.
“He hasn’t played this season or last season, so we’ll give him a couple of games in the ressies,” said Stevens.
“I’m hoping he will come into the first team at some stage. He did quite well for Fairford when he was there.”
Also coming in is central midfielder Craig Whitbread, who has arrived from Highworth.
Stevens added: “He’s not been playing due to work commitments, but hopefully we will get him available for us.”
Elsewhere, Highworth’s home game against Binfield looks set to fall victim to the weather and boss John Fisher is preparing himself for a few hours in front of Soccer Saturday instead.
“It’s going to be another Saturday at home watching Sky Sports,” he said.
“This week being off isn’t really going to do us any favours. That will be nearly three weeks off, but at least everyone is in the same boat.
“The only good thing about it is it gives players carrying knocks the chance to get over them.”
Highworth have no facilities booked for training in the next few days with a road run looking their most likely option.