We caught up with first team manager Stuart Storer (SS) as he discussed his thoughts on the season so far, how this season compares to others he has experienced as Bedworth manager and finally his thoughts on the game yesterday.
Thanks a lot for your time today Stuart. Firstly, looking at the season so far, how do you think the season has gone?
SS: It’s been a very frustrating season this year, mainly because of the amount of draws we have had so far. Defensively as a team we have been good but we have not scored enough goals collectively. Usually midfielders and defenders chip in with goals to help out, but this hasn’t been the case often this season. With this not happening and strikers struggling we have drawn too many. If we could turn half those draws into wins, we would have had such a different season.
With the main difficulties coming from a lack of goals, how big of a loss was it to lose Curvin Sanderson-Ellis midway through the season, who has gone on to score goals at Boldmere St Michaels?
SS: We had Tristan Dunkley and Ryan Nesbitt as well as Curvin, All proven strikers with good goal records. Curvin got a better deal closer to his home so at the time we felt we had more than adequate cover when he left. Hindsight is a great thing and if Ryan and Tristan had got a few more goals than just one each then things would have been very different and Curvin wouldn’t have been as big of a loss.
You have been with the club for just over 10 years now, how has this season compared to others you’ve experienced as Bedworth manager?
SS: Its been a bit of a rollercoaster really. When we came in from the first half of the season in our first year, we did a bit of a Houdini act and avoided going down to Step 5. Then we had seasons up and down with 2 promotions and 2 relegations, with a couple of mid table finishes before Covid hit. So we have experienced it all over the 10 years and this season we have to draw on all our experiences from other years and adapt to many things that are changing with players socially, culturally and lifestyle terms.
Turning to yesterday’s game, we got our first win of 2023 with a thumping 4-0 win over St Neots. How pleased were you with the performance from the lads?
SS: I’m more relieved than pleased. We have been battling and giving our all, having very little luck in our games this calendar year. I was more pleased with the players as it is easy to get negative, blame others or give up. The squad has stuck together, remained positive and got their rewards with the victory at St Neots.
As you’ve mentioned, we’ve struggled to score and also suffered from bad luck this year. Was there anything yourself, the coaching staff and the players do differently in the lead up to the game against St Neots? Or was it simply that we were more clinical?
SS: We have been constantly working on crossing and shooting sessions in 2023. It was no different in the build up to the game. In most games at this level the first goal is vital for success and it breeds confidence. As we haven’t been scoring first, it puts added pressure on us to keep clean sheets. Psychologically for the players that can be very mentally draining.
Defensively we have been solid all season and have now recorded back to back clean sheets. What do you put our good defensive record down to this season so far?
SS: Good organisation and the whole team working hard together. It is so easy to praise the keeper and defenders but defensive duties start with the strikers working hard and closing down working to the game plan.
With 5 games remaining for the season, what is your message to the fans?
SS: My message to the fans is to thank them for being positive for the majority of the season and to continue in that vein for the rest of the season.
SS: Finally, a big congratulations to the reserves and the staff and players for a successful season and for clinching the league title yesterday.