08:00AM, Saturday 21 November 2020
For the first time in several seasons Maidenhead United have two quality players for every position on the field, and assistant manager Ryan Peters is confident that strength in depth will keep everyone on their toes throughout the campaign.
The Magpies were in a similarly lofty position in the early weeks of last season but, as the nights drew in and the games mounted up, they allowed their performance levels to drop and were dragged into a relegation scrap come the early spring.
Frustratingly, or perhaps mercifully, the season was cut short by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Maidenhead were spared relegation by the skin of their teeth on a points-per-game calculation.
But Peters hopes their experiences last season will aid them as they seek to maintain their positive start to this campaign.
“I think this season more so than most we have two players for every position,” said Peters. “The balance is terrific. Lee (Devonshire) and the gaffer have worked incredibly hard to bring in the type and calibre of player we have this season
”It’s down to the boys to keep their spot and ensure they don’t rest on their laurels or allow their performance levels to drop.
“The boys that play the best will keep their shirt and, if you look at Sammy Barratt right now with his nine goals, it’s pretty hard to take him out of the side.
“Yeah, it’s been an incredible turnaround (following their first three games which all ended in defeat). “But where we sit now is not too far off where we sat last season. We’re just making sure the boys know they need to keep their feet on the ground.
“We won’t do anything silly and I’d like to think we’ll be better off for the season we had last year. It’s just a case of keeping the boys’ feet firmly on the ground and making sure they work as hard as they can. If we can play the Maidenhead way, then results will take care of themselves.
“The players the gaffer’s brought in have the right mentality.
“They know exactly what the gaffer is asking of them. A shift in performance levels and that desire to get around the pitch will at times lead to teams picking us off, but we’re built on our hard work. If any of the boys decide that because we’re high up the league we don’t have to put the hard graft in, then that will be the reason we plummet down the league,” he added.
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.
A worshipper has spoken out against her mosque in Slough following its decision to stop women attending ritual prayers during Ramadan.