Last season, Alresford Colne Rangers Reserves sat 13th when the season was brought to an abrupt end. They had collected 19th points from the 19-games they played after winning 5, drawing 1 and losing 13. Dave Dance weren’t a member of the management team during the 2019/20 season but could see Alresford from across the league as he had joined Stanway Pegasus Reserves.
“Last season was my first season back after a 5-year break,” he explained. “I’d lost my passion for football so stepped away after many years at Gas Rec. Being offered the chance to manage Stanway Pegasus [Reserves] was something that lit my fire again. They’re a great club and I feel I had a fairly successful season finishing 6th with a side playing its first competitive season in Division One.”
After a successful season in the Essex & Suffolk Border League, Dave made the switch to Alresford, joining a good friend of his. “The move to Alresford after just one season came about purely from a desire to work alongside my old pal Lee Purchase. We had spoken many times about working together and the time seemed right.”
As Dave had battled against Alresford the previous season, it allowed him to get a good scope of what he would be getting himself into. That made his want to join even more. “Having played and managed against Lee’s sides many times – with him getting the upper hand more often than not – I knew that I’d be joining a side with a big desire to win. Last season Alresford weren’t at the level they generally are so there was plenty to improve on before we kicked off in September. With some of Lee’s lads returning and a few new faces arriving, it gave us the foundations for a promising season.”
Alresford Reserves had made a great start to the season, winning 5 of their first 8-games and only picking up one defeat. They had begun the season with two huge wins, beating Shrub End United 6-1 and Hedinghams United 5-3, before drawing with FC Clacton Reserves. Their biggest win of the season so far came away to Holland A as they trashed their opponents 8-1 before recording a further 2 wins, 1 draw and their only lose to Tiptree Jobserve. More importantly, the start to the 2020/21 season meant they were only 4-points off the top-of-the-table. “We’ve had a solid start to the season, scoring 32 goals in 8-games. We expected to be competitive having put together a very good squad of lads. No one will get an easy game against us.”
The only loss, a 4-0 defeat to Tiptree Jobserve, was one that Dave felt could have been avoided. Still, it was impressive to have only lost one game. “We showed a very good Tiptree side far too much respect and changed our formation to try and counteract their strengths rather than sticking to what we’re good at. The game was lost in a 10-minute spell after a contentious penalty. We felt the scoreline flattered them as it was a well contested game.”
“It’s always important to start strongly and give ourselves a really good platform to build on” he added.
The enforced break due to the ongoing pandemic was one that frustrated everyone but the Reserves were also grateful that they could be back to full strength upon their return. “The enforced break is frustrating but it is what is it. To be fair, it’s given 2 or 3 of the lads a chance to get over some niggling injuries.”
The objective for the season was simple; finish as high as possible. They also wanted a good run in the cups. “For me personally, the drive is to make the club one of the most competitive in the league, from reserves right through to the firsts. We’re very lucky to have a cracking facility to play out of and a committee that couldn’t be more helpful. The future looks very bright but we just need to get through this virus first.”