Burgess Hill Town might have been defeated by the Best from the East, their important Bostik Premier fixture at Merstham being postponed due to heavy snow, however Manager Ian Chapman completed a positive and enjoyable training session instead.
It was held on the Southdown Rovers main pitch. He and assistant Stuart Tuck put around 17 eager players through a series of close control exercises and hard fought mini games. Chapman told his players: "You all have the tools for this game but in these types of training sessions is where you have to put in the hard work. Lets make this session count!"
To any budding young centre back out there I highly recommend that you try to watch Stuart Tuck in these situations. His legs might of gone past their sell by date but his skill levels are still of a high calibre.
He always has time, is always on the move, has great control and can always pick the right pass. It was a pleasure to watch him play.
After the 90 minute session Ian explained: "I think the players worked really hard out there today and there was a buzz. There has been a few changes so it was important to get together. It's been tough this season but we have 13 games left where we need to get results to stay in this league (Bostik Premier). When you look around our squad we have the talent required but its up to the players to get results on match days. Staying up is the most important thing for this club so getting points on the board is critical. Whether we play well or poorly its all about getting three points. We start by travelling to Needham Market on Tuesday (6/3/2018) which is going to be another tough game. However, I am very confident of staying up!"
We also caught up with General Manager John Rattle who explained: "It's been a very tough season and we believe that the standard of the Bostik Premier league has risen. In some situations we feel that we might of gotten away with a few more positive results last year. However, we are doing everything possible to keep this in club up."
I asked John if he was still enjoying his role. He said: "I am but like going to any work place things don't always work out and there are tasks that you do not want to perform however we shall keep working hard and I am confident that the club will rise once more."
On a final point John said: "I would really like thank all the fans who turn out here at the GES and the increasing away support. It is very much appreciated by the players and management team."
It was an honour being invited to watch the lads train last on Saturday afternoon. An enjoyable experience for sure. I was even allowed to address the players where I said: "As fans we are not looking for miracles but for the team to be doing the simple things right most of the time. Good luck on Tuesday we will all be behind you."
We go to Needham Market FC (north of Ipswich) on Tuesday evening. It reflects perhaps the toughest mid week away fixture for us increasing band of intrepid away travellers. That includes Burgess Hill Academy students George Coleman and Jack Naldrett who are our most vocal support. Both lads have the tough task of asking their form tutor for an hour off school to be able to attend.
With 13 games to go you get the feeling that BHTFC have the strength and resolve to get the job done. They going to need all that and perhaps more.