Fit and healthy Wokingham & Emmbrook FC aiming for 10 games unbeatenBy Adam Lee
October 03, 2012
Despite seeing his side extend their unbeaten run at the weekend, Wokingham & Emmbrook boss Roger Herridge can’t wait to see his squad return to a more healthy state.
Saturday’s 3-2 win over AFC Hinksey in the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup was the Sumas’ ninth successive game without defeat in all competitions.
But such is the state of Herridge’s ‘threadbare’ squad, the boss once again had to name himself as a rather unwilling substitute.
However, this weekend’s trip to Holyport in the Hellenic Premier Division will see in-form striker Matt Jones and midfielder Sam Duffelen return to the side, while winger Dean Thomas should also be back in contention.
With club captain Tom Hopper due to take part in a charity ultra marathon on Sunday, his extended break from first team duties will come to an end and he will be available for selection for next Tuesday night’s visit of high-flying Newbury.
And, with Shaun Wanklyn returning to his former club, as well as Dan Read and Jack Broome signed on dual-registrations from Godalming, Herridge’s squad looks far more competitive than it did at the start of the season.
“It’s remarkable what we have achieved,” said the Wokingham boss.
“When you look at the injuries and unavailabilities we have had, the fact that we are still grinding out results is a real credit to the lads.
“I’d love to say we have played fantastically well in every one of those games, but we haven’t. Sometimes you have to grind out an ugly win and we have shown we can do that.
“We’re two months into the season and I am still having to put myself on the bench, but I’m hoping to have different decisions to make this weekend and I should have more players available than I can name in the squad.
“We have flown by the seat of our pants in some games this season against some experienced sides.
“Our squad has been threadbare at times so what we have done is fantastic.
“I will be very pleased to have the other problem of having 16 or 17 players available and then having to make difficult decisions to leave players out.
“We have come through September unbeaten and in Octoer we have some very very stern tests and we will need a stong squad available for it.”
Herridge also hinted that he may well look to add to his squad in the coming weeks as players begin to realise that their first-team opportunities at other clubs could be limited.
Indeed, he says he would be “very surprised” if there was not at least one new addition by mid-October.
But first on the agenda is the trip to north Maidenhead to take on Holyport (3pm kick-off), where Herridge will look to end a run of three successive league draws.
Sumas, though, will go into the game with plenty of confidence, buoyed by the strongest squad Herridge has been able to name for some months.