Upottery manager speaks about a 'watershed moment' for the club
PUBLISHED: 10:23 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 07 January 2020
Upottery manager Dan Prettejohn pulled no punches when he spoke of what he saw as a pivotal weekend for his club on thee first matchday of 2020.
Prettejohn took a bare eleven across to Kentisbeare for a Macron League Premier Division game, travelling with no substitutes and no linesman - that meant the Upottery boss had to run the line!
It was a similar case for the Upottery Reserves who went into their Macron League Division Three home meeting with high-flying Exmouth Spartans with similar numbers and without a recognised goalkeeper.
Prettejohn said: "The first Saturday of the year was certainly a 'watershed' moment for our club and I think - or do I mean hope - that the players, collectively, realise that this is the moment when we get up and so something about it or we crash and burn and too much hard work has gone into getting our club and the two teams to where they are today to allow is all to crumble away without at least giving it one damn good go at getting it back on an even keel."
He continued: "On Saturday night, after we had drawn 2-2 at Kentisbeare I must have taken four or five calls from players saying they were sorry they'd not been able to help out and they would be back fully charged for the next game. We need that sort of commitment and on a consistent basis. Look, I have never made any secret of the fact that we have put together, this season, as good an Upottery side as we have had in many many moons. We have a cracking set-up for what is predominantly a village football club and that means that talk of 'the sky being the limit' a s to what we can go on and achieve, really does ring true with us.
"However, no measure of dreaming is possible without players buying into it and making that commitment and, I do thin k that it is important for the very well-being of our club that we say last weekend will not happen again."
As well as the first team dropping points at Kentisbeare, the second team shipped 13 goals at Glebe Park.
Prettejohn said: "I felt for the lads. No one likes to get turned over by such a score, but there were mitigating circumstances on as much as our team did not have a recognised goalkeeper."
He continued: "Mind you, ever the optimist, I will always dig out positives, no matter the level of adversity and one huge plus to come out of the second team game was a first ever goal for teenager Bradley Lock. He's been away from the game and has only just come back and I am so pleased for him that he scored. What's more I gather the lads worked their collective socks off at Glebe Park against a side that is averaging five goals a game and are a test for anyone, never mind a thrown together scratch side."