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A Saturday back in the CCL

Post by KOB - 17-09-2023, 10:23

With the first team without a game, I decided to forgo the chance to watch the U23s and instead walked across the common to my local club, Tadley Calleva, to see them take on supposed promotion candidates Tooting & Mitcham in the Combined Counties Premier South. It was an interesting and, to some extent, amusing afternoon.

Tadley Calleva (for those who don't know, Calleva is the name of the old Roman settlement which is now Silchester, where I live), are managed by ex-Hartley assistant manager, Joe Lawler. Joe is now in sole charge after Ben Dillon stepped down at the end of last season, and from what I saw yesterday, he's doing a fine job there. I was genuinely impressed by the pace, movement and passing of the Calleva boys. They dominated the first-half, twice hitting the woodwork and having other chances, but the sides went in level. The second-half began much the same, until a harsh second yellow reduced the home side to 10 men. Even then you couldn't tell which side was a man short. But, two minutes from the end, with pretty much the only real chance they'd created, a well-worked short corner results in the ball being clipped across (shot or cross, only the scorer knows) and it drops in the net. 1-0 Tooting; not in the least deserved IMO, but that's football. Punished for not taking their earlier chances.

And the amusing part? In the first half I placed myself just down from the away dugout. Not sure I've ever heard a coaching team trying to micro-manage every player's move on the pitch in quite that way before. I know what I'd have said if I'd been in their team! Boys, that is not how to coach from the sidelines; though I'm sure you'll throw a few more expletives my way for saying that. If you want to micro-manage, take up playing Subbuteo or stick to FIFA on the xbox!

Nice setup Tadley have created there. Now that they have an established clubhouse and bar, they will hopefully push on. It was something that held them back in the early years when they got the new ground built thanks to Football Foundation funding, but had no real revenue stream to fund ground grading improvements, which cost them promotion at the time. Good luck to Joe and the boys this season, they are building something promising there.
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