New Team, New Field

Before the season had began, New Field Football Club had huge ambitions as they sought to rise up the divisions, starting with the 2020/21 season but for the manager, he wanted to ensure he put the club into a good position off the field in order to compete on it. “We always had aims of promotion, and still do” said Manager Jake Heap. “However, our main aim for this year is to build a big and ambitious squad and have a solid season regardless of position.”

The club hadn’t made a bad start to the season, finding themselves 5th after 11-games and 5-points off the leaders. With the side being new for the new season, Heap was happy with how his side had started the season. “The season so far has been exciting for us being a new club. Watching loads of strangers bond and become a team so fast has been satisfying. We’ve got plenty more of offer, once the squad completely clicks.”

Although they began the season with a win against Cavendish Reserves, New Field struggled for form. The games that followed the win saw them lose two on the bounce as they were defeated by Boxted Lodgers Reserves and Dovercourt Rovers before they remained unbeaten in three as they beat Stillwaters and Kelvedon Social A and drew with Cavendish Reserves [in the Reverse fixture] before losing against Frinton & Walton. Their last four games had seen their biggest run of form as they won four-games in a row; beating Mersea Island Reserves, Parkeston Welfare Park, Wethersfield and Bradfield Rovers, putting them clear of 6th-placed Great Bentley A by 7-points. Jake felt the table was a fair indication of where they were as a club.

“I think the table is accurate for how the season has gone so far,” he explained. “but as of recent, I believe we will only be climbing places before the seasons up.”

Although they were 5-points off the top, having played more games that the sides above, he still felt the club were in a promotion battle and could potentially win the title, but he knew there was a clear favourite. “As the league sits, it seems there is a clear favourite, but we were 100% in a promotion race. As long as we step up in games against teams above us, we know we can push for the top 2.”

The season hadn’t been without it’s struggles though. They were mainly the results but the stop-start season, due to the lockdowns, didn’t help either. “The last four games have been a real highlight as things are really coming together, having brought a few more class additions to the squad, and we look strong. The struggles have been a few poor results which we feel were our own doing, but each time we’ve learnt from the mistakes and improved.”

“Everyone hates the lockdowns because we all just want to be playing football,” he said. “Saying that, we all keep in touch and stay positive. Being on such a good run, hopefully it won’t affect us when we’re back.”

If there is to be a return before the new season, Jake Heap had one target in mind. “I’m hoping the players are as keen as me to get back on a cold field and get winning again as soon as.”

A key factor for a potential return soon would have been the players maintaining their fitness levels through the lockdown, otherwise they’d be a delay with a mini pre-season. The New Field Gaffer knew how important it was to maintain their fitness. “With such a big and enthusiastic squad, players know they can’t slack off. Everyone is keeping fit even without team training at the moment as they want to be in that squad of 16 come the first game back.”

Even at such an early existence, the long term plans were the club were already in the minds of those at the club. “Short term, our goal is to get back and finish this season strong, aiming for promotion in our first season. Long term though, we want to expand the club, create another team, give youth a chance to step up into the men’s game. We just want to build a big family club and bring home some trophies.”