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Development Ready For Highworth Visit

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Shrivenham Development are set to host their own local derby game at Barrington Park this coming Tuesday evening when sixth placed Highworth Town Reserves make the short journey along the B4000 for a Uhlsport Hellenic League 2 West league fixture, kick off 7:45pm.

With the First XI smashing rivals Fairford Town for a derby-double on Saturday afternoon, Development boss Steve Hendry is hopeful that his side will also put in a similar performance.

“I’m looking forwards to the game,” Hendry said on Saturday evening having watched the First Teams 3-0 victory.

“Not only because it’s against Highworth – but because we’ve also had a two-week break.”

Despite the sides difficult season which has seen them pick up just three wins and one draw out of the fifteen Uhlsport Hellenic League 2 West games they have played so far, Hendry remained upbeat about his sides overall progression.

“Our young lads have continued to train hard this season and they have had prepared well.

“I view Highworth as being around two-years ahead of us in terms of development, and it’s no secret that we’re hoping to emulate the type of plan that they’ve adopted at the Elms here at Barrington Park, because we’re building for future success at the club so we’ve had a big task over the last season and a half, but we’re certainly headed in the right direction.”

 With that turn around, both of the clubs senior sides have seen hefty changes in personnel, an area that Hendry was quick to identify.  

“We’ve recruited some new faces during January which has meant we’ve unfortunately had to let some players go,” he continued.

“Aside from that, we have a talented crop of lads coming through from the U16s who we’re developing during training sessions and we’ve been introducing them gradually so as they can gain exposure to the senior game this season and they’re continuing to benefit from the difference in standards, attitude and the application expected when they make the step up.

“Although our ultimate aim is to win football matches, the development of players for the sustainability of the club is crucial and we’re beginning to see the benefits of our efforts with the likes of Brad Hirst and Alfie Griggs who have been making the step up from the U18s to the fringes of the First XI.

Hendry was quick to identify that it isn’t all one-way traffic for the Development side either.  “We’re not just focussed on development, but also as being a “reserve” for the First Team to utilise.

“There are times that players take the step down from the First Team too – whether that is when they are recovering from injury or suffering from a lack of confidence or whatever, we need to be able to accommodate them and give them game time to help them return to the required level.

“We had seven of the First Team who won at Virginia Water recently, lining up in our ranks during this season, which considering the recent form and current league position, shows just how important and how well our group is set up.”

With the side entering the final third of their league season, Hendry concluded:  “We have seven home games to play from our remaining nine fixtures, so we’d be more than happy to see any Shrivvy fans out there at any of our games.

“Given the First Team only have one remaining home game, we’d welcome everyone’s support as we’re constantly looking to improve as we head towards the 2019-20 season – and at the moment, things are looking very positive.”

Entry to this Tuesday evening fixture is FREE, the club house will be open, and your support would be really appreciated.