Captain’s View: Richard Bunting’s weekly look inside The Walks
- Credit: IAN BURT
Pre-season is over and the summer was not about our results – although we had some good ones.
Friendlies are about fitness. And on that front I was a couple of weeks behind where I wanted to be so it was quite frustrating at times. I was watching everyone get fit and playing well while I was playing catch up.
The gaffer (Gary Setchell) brought in some new faces and they all look good. Valter (Fernandes), Clarkey (Ryan Clarke), Hally (Andy Hall), Clarkey's brother (Ewan) and (Rob) Duffy. We haven't had the chance to see Rob as he's not fit yet but his credentials speak for themselves.
Leaving the club was Russell Dunkley and Danny Beaumont. They'll be two big losses. My car feels a lot lighter now, and we stop at McDonald's less often, now Dunks is not here.
All joking aside, I'd like to thank them both for helping us achieve what we did last season and I wish them all best at their new clubs.
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We started our Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign at Nantwich Town (2-0 loss) on Saturday and after all the hype we just didn't really do ourselves justice in the first 20 minutes. It's where, for me, we lost the game and gave away a sloppy goal. It was a bit of a wake-up call in terms of the level we are now playing at.
We stuck in the game though and can consider ourselves unfortunate we didn't get an equaliser. But to be fair they deserved all three points. It was a long bus journey home from Cheshire. It was very quiet and I wasn't alone in thinking it's going to be really, really hard this term. It's normal for players to sometimes question themselves – especially when most of us haven't played at this level.
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But on Tuesday you could see we had a point to prove and although the 6-0 scoreline was harsh on Rushall Olympic, that happened as we were very good rather than them being a poor side. As soon as the first goal went in (Dan Jacob) you could see the lads puff their chests out and start to believe. Goals change games. Everyone was eight or nines out of 10 from then. Jordy (Jordan Yong) was different class. So was Clarkey (Ryan), Gullers (Phil Gulliver), Jay (Jason) Lee and George (Thomson). You won't find a better player on the ball than George at this level – it's just getting him on it sometimes that is the problem.
It was a massive win for us and we need to make The Walks a fortress again. We host Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday, before travelling to Barwell on Monday. Away games are going to be even tougher than last season so we'll have to try and keep getting three points at home and take each game on the road as it comes.
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