Hellenic League Preview: Wokingham & Emmbrook FCBy Adam Lee
August 01, 2012
Sumas aim to break into top half, despite losing players
With little to no budget and without a home of their own, Wokingham & Emmbrook’s recent success has been built on the camaraderie and collective skills of a fairly stable group of young players.
However, over the summer, Wokingham have witnessed one of the biggest exoduses they have suffered in recent years.
Nonetheless, they have retained the vital core of their group, and although they have yet to sign anyone new on a permanent basis, there are potential new faces in the offing.
They have also managed to keep hold of the spine of last season’s team, and in keeper Garry Aulsberry, centre half and captain Tom Hopper, midfielder David Bellis and striker Luke Lee, have a pretty formidable basis for any team at this level.
With Bellis and right-back Alex Walton back from university and available week in week out, that will only help Wokingham’s cause, while with young centre-halves Callum Eagle and Will Day returning after impressing during the tail-end of last season, their future is in good hands.
Losing the likes of Adam Cornell, Jack Broome, Alex Luis and Dean Thomas would hurt any Hellenic Premier Division team, but they do have strength in depth, and if Wokingham can sign striker Ben Knight, then they shouldn’t lack goals.
Consistency, however, is the key for the Sumas.
Last season they dropped far too many points to teams in the bottom half of the table, and they can’t hope to make any progress unless they put that to rights.
But if they can continue to produce against the top teams, and also improve their record against the lower teams, then they can really spring a few surprises this season.
Last season: 10th in Hellenic Premier Division.
Prediction for this season: For a club like Wokingham & Emmbrook, year-on-year progression is about all that can be asked of them. With no home and no budget, their hands are often tied. Should they manage to secure the signature of Ben Knight, then they will have a man capable of pushing the 20-goal mark – a player who could push them into the top half of the table, even without the talent they have lost over the summer – 9th.
Players in: None
Players out: Adam Cornell, Jack Broome, Shane Cooper-Clarke, Dean Thomas.
Key man: David Bellis: The young midfield general has returned from university and will be available, fitness depending, for the majority of games. Capable of controlling the pace of the game as well as providing a solid wall in front of the defence, the one glaringly obvious ommission from his game is a lack of potency in front of goal. Should he weigh in with a few more goals this season, his impact on the Wokingham team could be immense.
One to watch: Alex Walton: Another player returning from university and available more often, Walton, who is a right-back by trade but can also fit in at centre-back, can easily make a name for himself as one of the best defenders in the Hellenic League. Will look to get forward at every opportunity, but is also solid in defence. A good 2012/13 could land him a move up the leagues next year.
First Match: Abingdon Town (a), Tuesday, August 7.