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Story posted: Saturday, 16th November 2002

Gaz Norton's Reserve team news
Gaz Norton

Gaz Norton

Last Saturday saw us make the trip to face Highgate only to arrive at the ground to find out that the match had been called off at a 9am pitch inspection.
To say we were annoyed was an understatement but it did give the Reserve squad the opportunity to come and watch the lads in action against Gloucester City. James Parkinson, Carl Timms and Mykey Pryce all started the game and did reasonably well. For Mykey it was his 1st Team debut and although he took his time to get into the game, his pace gave Gloucester a few problems and he won the penalty that Richard Wardle converted to put us in the lead. If I had a slight criticism on his performance it would be that I would have like to have seen him try and hold the ball up a little more. I know he can do this very well and Iím sure he will be told this by John and Alan. Mykey will only get better and Iím sure that he will learn from the experience of playing at this level.

Carl Timms, after a scrappy 1st half had an excellent 2nd and had a superb volley saved by the keeper that would have been the winner had it gone in. He had another great chance shortly after but his shot went straight to the keeper. ďParkyĒ was disappointed with his performance although generally I thought he did ok. He got caught out once or twice by more experienced players but Iím sure that he is learning fast from his mistakes. Obviously John has a ďlittle bitĒ of experience in the centre back area J so Iím sure Parky will be able to learn a lot from the gaffer to help further improve his performances.

It was great for the rest of the Reserve Team squad to get the opportunity to see the 1st team play, even more so because some of ďourĒ lads were playing. Hopefully it will give those who have the ability the incentive to push themselves in order to get any future opportunities for themselves.

I Mentioned last week in my notes for the Gloucester game that I was looking to bring in 1 or 2 new faces. This week we have signed Ex Burton Albion and Shepshed midfielder Carl Slater and Ex Albion Youth team Striker Gareth Burgess. Both players are local lads with some great potential and we will be looking for them both to join the rest of the squad and battle for places in the side. Carl is still signed for the Albion Reserves but has been playing recently with Shepshed Dynamoe and Barwell. Gareth had a brief spell at Shepshed earlier in the season after moving from the Albion during pre-season. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome both players to the club and lets hope they are 1st teamers of the future.

Last week the Reserves trained with the 1st team at the facilities of Heather St Johns recently secured by the Chairman. The facilities there are excellent and at last it seems we have a regular grass venue for midweek training. I know Mark himself is delighted, especially as the subject of suitable training facilities have been an ever present problem for him over the last couple of seasons.

It was nice to catch up with Lee Withers and James Lewesley last week. Lee and James were Reserve team regulars last season and both made the step up to the 1st team squad late last season. Unfortunately both players sustained bad injuries to themselves which has prevented them building on the good work from last season. Leeís ankle injury was sustained in Pre Season whilst Jim picked up a nasty knee injury at the end of last season. Jimís comeback lasted just 35 minutes in a Reserve team game earlier this season before he suffered a further setback. Lee has started training and Jim is 3 weeks away from doing the same. Iím sure you will join me in wishing both players well on their respective roads to recovery.

Gaz Norton
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15 Belper Town 41 -42 45
16 Sheffield FC 40 -22 42
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19 Gresley 39 -32 40
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21 Romulus 41 -37 34
22 Market Drayton Town 39 -49 33

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