Graham Ward previews AFC Bridgnorth’s league opener against Worcester Raiders.
25 September 2020
The Meadowmen welcome Worcester Raiders to the Crown Meadow on Saturday for their opening West Midland Regional League fixture of the 2020/21 season.
With both sides looking to make the perfect start to the campaign, Bridgnorth boss Ward spoke with high optimism after the sides’ late equaliser against Wednesfield to send the game to a penalty shootout, to which they would go and win.
On the dressing room character:
“When we signed the players that we wanted to sign, we knew they came with a never die attitude. This was shown in the game on Saturday. We have leaders all over the pitch and more to come from the likes of Andy Hartlebury and Chris Crook.
“People said it was a master stroke from me in the game, it wasn’t. It was all about the lads and their spirit, whether they were on the pitch or the bench, it runs through the entire squad.
“The lads on the bench encouraged players from minute one. I think they know they have a manager that has full belief in them all.”
On the long hard COVID break:
“All the guys want to do is play football. It’s been tough to keep them all motivated, but I think now with the season starting this weekend, we can at least look forward and finally get things moving. Pre-season games are great, but they don’t bring the feeling of winning three points.”
On a good start on Saturday:
“It’s just one game from 30 odd more that we’re going to do our best for throughout the long season. Mentally, a win would be a good ground to start from.
“I’d like to think that if we apply ourselves correctly, we can get something from the game. I am under no illusion about the strength and power Worcester Raiders possess. Good players and managers at both teams, but here, I’ve got a good group myself.”
On Cam Milne:
“Cam is someone who I chased for a while. I met his father too to try and convince him this is where he should be playing his football. He has all the attributes to be a good player and play at a higher level.
“He has a few things that we need to help him iron out of his game but I think he has enjoyed the journey so far and as I said, he’s done well. Everyone knows he’s done well so far. To be quite honest, I have no idea how Tividale let him go but Dave King spoke well of him and as a club, we thanked him for that.”
“We have a few. Think our only concern is Chris Field, our second choice keeper and Gabriel Danko who has his knee problem. Another would be Myles Arnold, who is currently struggling to recover from a knock on the weekend. Other than that, the lads are fit and raring to go.”