Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Honiton Town were left kicking their heels along with all but two other Fresha League sides as their first outing of the year was washed out.
Town will make a belated start to their 2014 programme with a home game against Newton St Cyres who they were due to play last weekend in Mid Devon.
Saturday’s Mountbatten Park visitors sit third in the table so another home success would widen the gap between Town and the chasing pack for one of the coveted three promotion berths.
Town boss Kev Blackwell says: “We went to see a recent game involving Newton St Cyres when one of our matches was washed out and what we saw was an organised team who clearly like to pass the ball. They also had a number of fine young players in their ranks and so clearly are not third in the table without good cause. It’ll be a tough game for us, but I am of the opinion that having come this far we have a duty to our club to keep the run going and we will train this midweek to prepare to face a good side. If we play the way I know we can then we should, prove good enough to bank three more points. However, I’ll leave the lads in no doubt pre-match that if they let their individual and collective standards drop then this Newton St Cyres team will make them pay!”
Town’s meeting with the Mid Deon side is followed seven days later by a trip to Tiverton to play tenth placed Westexe after which they hoist seventh placed Dawlish to competed their January engagements.
In February Town have away games at Crediton United and South Zeal eitgh4re side of a last eight game in the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup which sees them travel to meet Dartmouth Reserves. They end February with what potentially could be a title deciding game as they host Dolphin on February 22.
Blackwell says; “I am just hoping that this current wet weather does not go on. We experienced a really bad time 12 months ago when we went almost two months without a game. This season we are five games further along the line that we were at this stage last season, but we can ill afford losing too many more to the weather.”
The Town boss then spoke of his vision for the club. He said: “I have a mission to see this team, at the very least, to the top end of Fresha One. I do feel that a town the size of ours warrants a football team playing, at the very least, in Fresha Premier and lets not forget that that was indeed the case some 18 years ago. I tell the younger players involved now that I want them to be part of building a legacy here at Mountbatten Park so, hopefully, in 18 years time people might talk about how we began the long road back to the top in terms of our football cub and the highest levels we could play at.”
Blackwell also runs the Town Under-7s which is the team his young son plays in. The Town chief is very aware of the importance of youth systems. He says: “I’d like to think that some of the current Under-14 and Under-15 players will continue to develop and eventually progress into our senior team sat Mountbatten Park. That needs to be the need game for all concerned in our youth system. All too often in the past Honiton Town FC has nurtured young players and the lost them to other teams not playing at the level of this club and I’d like to reverse that process.”