SOUTHERN LEAGUE: Marine boss needs whole squad for promotion push
IT WILL be a whole-squad effort if Supermarine are to achieve their goal of an immediate return to the Southern Premier.
That is the opinion of Marine boss Dave Webb, who guided his team to a 5-1 win over Salisbury in the 2011/12 Wiltshire Premier Shield on Wednesday Shuffling the pack against a youthful Whites side proved the right decision and Webb knows that approach will be crucial in the months to come as Marine aim for at least a play-off place in Division One South & West.
“We made about six changes from the side that played Cinderford on Saturday and everyone did exceptionally well. That gives me a headache but it’s a nice one to have,” he said.
“We need at least the numbers we have at the moment if we’re to have any chance of doing anything this season.
“Knocks, injuries and suspensions are all going to come along and we will lose bodies.
“At the moment we have the ability to change things round and not lose our strength, and I’m keen to maintain that if we suddenly have three or four missing.”
Marine, who welcome Bridgwater to the Webb’s Wood Stadium tomorrow, will not have the chance to defend their Shield title as the 2012/13 iteration of the competition has been axed.
And Webb has joined the chorus of managers calling for the competition to be given a radical overhaul in order to revitalise it.
“A lot of the players that played in the final on Wednesday weren’t even here last season, so it was a little bit strange,” said Webb.
“From what I hear the Wilts FA aren’t even running the competition this year.
“They should combine with the Wilts Senior Cup and have a county-wide competition, but I guess the likes of Salisbury and Swindon have bigger things to worry about.
“It’s a shame because it’s as a competition it goes back a long way, but it’s only as good as the respect it gets from the participating teams.”
Webb has no new injury worries for the game against Bridgwater, while elsewhere in the division, Cirencester will hope to bounce back from their late defeat to North Leigh in midweek when they welcome Yate to the Corinium.
In the Southern Premier, Chippenham have re-signed defender Greg Tindle and Cheltenham Town youngster Michael Gonzalo on a month-long work experience loan.
The Bluebirds will be hoping to arrest their woeful run of nine league games without a win when they travel to Bedford.