Tallentire: There is light at the end of the tunnelBy Adam Lee
August 30, 2012
Mark Tallentire has begun preparing for life after Ian Davies following the star striker’s defection to Hellenic Premier Division rivals Marlow last week.
The news ended a temultuous couple of weeks at Binfield, which saw the Moles suffer an indifferent start to the season before striker Carl Davies made a dramatic return to Hill Farm Lane.
Tallentire barely had time to react to the news of Ian Davies’ departure before the visit of league leaders Slimbridge on Saturday, but his side did him proud with a battling display to earn a 1-1 draw.
But now the reality has sunk in, Tallentire is looking on the positives following the departure of his goal machine, who joined former Reading Town boss Mark Bartley at the Buckinghamshire club.
Davies joined Binfield towards the end of their first season in the Hellenic Premier in 2010.
He made an immediate impact, scoring 19 goals in 19 matches as the Moles finished seventh.
He went on to score an incredible 111 goals in 124 appearances, including nine hat-tricks, alongside Carl Davies with whom he formed the most feared strike partnership in the division.
Despite Carl Davies’ departure for Hungerford Town over the summer, Tallentire was adamant that Ian would remain, but a remarkable turn of events last week saw that situation turn full circle.
Firstly, Marlow made a seven-day approach for Ian Davies.
However, as has happened before, Tallentire was sure that his star man would turn them down in favour of remaining at the club.
Carl Davies then contacted Tallentire out of the blue asking for a return to Hill Farm Lane, but no sooner had the paperwork been agreed with Hungerford, Ian Davies was on the phone to his manager informing him of his decision to join their Hellenic League rivals.
It was a bitter blow for Tallentire, who knows he will probably never find a player of Davies’ pure goalscoring instinct, and he must now refocus his side to cope without their guaranteed 30-to-40-goals-a-season man.
But he refuses to be too downheartened and instead he has focused on the good times the club has enjoyed during Davies’ time there.
“You never know what’s round the corner in football and the last couple of weeks has really underlined that,” he said.
“When Carl came back I was then thinking ‘brilliant, I’ve got my strikeforce back’, but the I got Ian’s bombshell.
“I thought he was happy at Binfield from the conversations we had and he didn’t give me an inkling that he was interested in going.
“But we had a half-hour conversation later in the week and he expressed his feelings that he was very tempted by it and fancied a fresh challenge.
“It wasn’t about money – he’s not motivated by money.
“Having worked with him for two or three years I knew that once his mind was made up I couldn’t stand in his way.
“I’m not bitter and he has been a fantastic servant to the club.
“He was my main striker and also a lovely guy off the pitch. He’s hungry, a fantastic player and is a pleasure to work with.
“That’s the disappointing thing for me – personally I’m gutted because I know it will be tough for me to ever replace Ian.”
Tallentire, though, does have plenty of options up front.
Following the loss of Carl Davies in the summer, he has focused on a revamped 4-3-3 formation, with Jos Millar and Jemel Johnson playing either side of a focal striker.
And since the return of the physically powerful, pacey and technically skilled Carl Davies, may will argue that he will be the perfect man to lead the Binfield line.
Tallentire also has Garry Sargeant back fit, while Richard Bland is approaching fitness again following a lengthy injury lay off, and is sure to score goals at this level.
“It’s now up to the other strikers at the club to pick up the mantle and prove themselves,” said the Moles boss.
“Having Carl is one of the reasons why there is light at the end of the tunnel – he was fantastic on Saturday. He led the line well and was unlucky not to get a goal.
“We have strikers who can come in and do a job and getting Carl back was a bit of a bonus.
“We will have to change our style slightly. We need to be harder to beat and I have started to see that in the games we have played – we are looking a lot more solid.
“Going forward I still think we have got enough in our locker to upset most teams.”
Goalkeeper Dan Weait, defender Paul Shone as well as midfielders Joel Havermans and Mitchell Woodward are all back in contention for Saturday’s visit of Flackwell Heath, while Jake Butler is unavailable.