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26th April

Manager Gordon Bartlett's Programme Notes from the final home leagie game agisnat Leyton played on the 26th April......

I'm am writing these notes on Monday evening after our away game at Hornchurch last Saturday and I've just heard the Folkestone game against Staines tonight has been postponed. Just our luck - now Staines will have a fixture pile up before the play-offs and may play a weakened team down there next time.

It's the time of year to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly we have gone through over the last nine months. Unfortunately, the biggest emotion of the season has yet to be decided and the threat of relegation is still hanging over us at this point. I set a target of 50 points for safety back in February and although we haven't hit the mark yet, I still feel one more win is the minimum requirement to secure our Ryman Premier status for another season. Results from last weekend now mean an incredible 52 points, could be more like the safety target! I will write more about the season later, but the last programme notes of the campaign always gives the opportunity to say thank you to those hard working individuals who have put so much time and effort into maintaining and developing our club, both on and off the field.

I'll start by saying a big thank you to everyone involved behind the scenes for the various roles that have been carried out during yet another difficult season.

Gilly and Leo have been brilliant again this year, not only on the management side, but I'm so grateful for them sharing the work load of writing the programme notes. Dealing with players, watching matches, telephone calls and such like, sometimes makes the necessary job of programme notes a real 'pain'. I know Adam and Minnie Gloor get frustrated by us stretching the deadline at times, but we do understand and appreciate the excellent work that goes into producing such a good programme every match. Thanks and well done to both of you!

Ricky and Darren have done a wonderful job with the reserves, particularly after such a difficult start, and have been rewarded with the only bit of silverware at Wealdstone this season by winning the County Cup against Ashford recently.

James Smith has continued to work hard on the 'Physio' side and has recently added painting and decorating to his list of jobs, after transforming the treatment room at the Manor. Giving up his free time, he has made a fantastic effort and I believe pictures of his hard work are shown somewhere in today's programme. Thanks also go to Graham and Pauline for everything they do on match days and for the time they have spent helping at Ruislip.

Fingers, Alan and Roy Couch, all deserve a special mention for the amount of paperwork and organisation they do behind the scenes. Countless telephone calls and numerous forms filled in, just to sign one player and I often want it completed within a ridiculous time schedule....especially when it's loan players! Sorry and thanks to all three of you!

Our youth set up and involvement at Stanmore College continues to thrive and I'd like to praise everyone involved under the coaching leadership of Steve Beeks. John Moran has has proved to be a major asset in the recruitment of the new students and he, along with his wife Alison, will have a huge influence on developing our Youth set up and links with schools and clubs within the Ruislip area.

Alan and Matt have done excellent jobs on the website and hospitality, which is even more amazing considering the journey they have to make each week in order to even turn up at games. It shows typical commitment to the cause and I'd just like to say how much it's appreciated.

Thanks also go to, Don Cross and Micky Kane who, along with a large band of volunteers, have had a huge impact on ground proceedings down at Grosvenor Vale and of course, Attic with his superb photographs. Once again, despite the frustration, the supporters have been excellent this season and continue to travel through thick and thin. We really do appreciate it and hope we can reward you with Premier football again next season. I'd also like to thank PJ, Andy B and Gordon for their invaluable help on match days.

I must mention the Board, which includes some of the 'Ruislip Four' and I extend a big thank you on behalf of everyone, for sticking with it, putting your hands in your pockets and providing this club with our first home for many years. I sincerely hope this will now help generate the income, surroundings and atmosphere, to enable this club to continue its rise back up the non-league ladder. I'm sorry if I've missed anyone out, but if I have.....thanks anyway!

This season can only be described as probably my most frustrating ever. I went on record saying this was the best squad I'd had since I joined the club. Since then, due to some poor performances, I've had that quote thrown back in my face by a few people, but I stand firm by that statement. Not everyone has gone the distance, but twelve players are still with us from the squad we signed in August; Chaps, Jomo, Carl, Chris, Ashie, Hughsie, Peter, Monty, Andre, Jon, Deano and Keita and I sincerely hope many of those will be here next season.

We've had high points in the league, such as Folkestone, Staines, Hornchurch, Harrow and Boreham Wood twice. With wins against Conference South sides, Welling and Bishops Stortford and the good runs in both the FA competitions, things were looking bright before Christmas and talk of the play-offs. Then bang! A succession of poor performances, confidence drained and we were on the slippery slope towards the bottom. Occasional bright spells recently saw us climb back up the table, but we have conceded so many poor goals it is bound to influence the mental strength of even the strongest characters. The last three games are prime examples, Maidstone two up with fifteen to go and we blew it! Then the nightmare against Carshalton, after pulling ourselves back into the game from two nil and down to ten men in the first 3 minutes and again after doing so well against Hornchurch last week.

That's all history and we must now focus on picking up as many points as possible in these last two games in order to give ourselves a chance. Life's easy when things are going well, but seem people get very negative and seem to think it's easier to quit when things are not running smoothly, rather than fight for what they want. I'm a fighter, I have never been relegated in 22 years and I firmly believe the players and management team around me this afternoon, will not let it happen this year either!

I suppose that will have to do, as I'm only allowed two pages. It's been another difficult year and I cannot deny that I am looking forward to 4.50 next Saturday and a chance to recharge the batteries. I can assure you, there is an awful lot more I'd like to tell about circumstances and incidents throughout this season and give you a real insight into a manager's role, but I don't feel it's appropriate. All I will say, a psychiatrist certainly earns his money.

Finally, the new ground seems to have sparked a lot of activity in the area of fundraising and a massive well done should go to Paul Rumans and Lori, who both worked tirelessly on a very successful Stuart Pearce Sportsman's Dinner in Northampton last weekend. Dave Albert has the Fans Sportsman's Dinner in the beginning of May and we have the Summer Youth Tournament at Ruislip being arranged by Mark Lloyd. Finally, we also have next weeks Supporters Walk to Hendon. Brilliant stuff by everyone involved!

Together, we have nursed this club through difficult times, rising to the Premier on little finance, staying there against all the odds and now, at long last, we have a home, we have a heartbeat and this club is breathing new life!

Here's hoping for 51 points by the end of this afternoon, then safety and the start of a new era.

Gordon

15th Mar 2008

Manager Gordon Bartlett's porgramme notes from the game against Boreham Wood are below:-

A warm welcome to George Borg and his Boreham Wood team for todays Ryman Premier match at a time when both sides still fighting for survival. Having recently appointed George as manager and signing some

quality experienced players, they are lying fourth in the current form table, which makes it more amazing that Boreham Wood are still in trouble and only a point in front of us.

 My comments about the mediocrity of the league are being proved by the fact that everyone in the League still has plenty to play for with either promotion or relegation very much in their mind. Under normal circumstances, that is unheard of by the middle of March. With Leyton looking certain to be relegated, nine other clubs are now fighting to much sure that they are not one of the three that will join them in Division One next season. With only 5 points separating those teams, its going to be a very interesting last six weeks of the season. Just look at what Tonbridge have achieved since beating us two weeks ago. They came here only a couple of points above us and in serious trouble and now find themselves one win off third place in the table.

Siitting reading the Non-League paper at the weekend, I couldnt help noticing that our points tally in any other League, (42) would put you in a very comfortable position indeed. In fact, we would be 11 points off a relegation spot in the Conference, and 15 and 16 points in the Connie North and South respectively. At our level, we would 6 points clear in the Southern, 10 in the Northern and we would be roughly 20 points clear of danger in all four leagues at Division one level of the Southern and Ryman!

Our last two games against fellow strugglers, East Thurrock have been poor games, played in gale force winds, which have both been decided by dubious penalty decisions. Firstly, the Saturday away game, where I believed wed done enough to come away with a point, only to be robbed by an incredible decision by the assistant referee. With only 5 minutes to go, he flagged for handball and a penalty against Chaps, who was actually facing the opposite direction when it hit his arm.

Similar circumstances followed on the Tuesday when we were awarded a penalty with about ten minutes to go after Deano was pulled down from behind. From the dugout, it looked as if the defender played the ball first, but who cares when three points are a stake. They say that these decisions even themselves out over the season, so maybe justice was done. Deano picked himself up and coolly slotted the penalty into the side netting and promptly set off to celebrate by sitting back on the bench. Point taken, mate. Overall, I felt we got stronger as the game went on and deserved to win by more and probably would have done except for some excellent saves by Shaun Gore. With Folkestone and Heybridge losing by three goals each, it turned out to be a good night all round.

Tuesday saw the last appearance in a Wealdstone shirt for Liam and Dale who have both been recalled by Watford. They have appeared in nine League games and helped us pick up 13 points. I would like to thank the pair of them for their excellent attitude which has been a credit to both them and to Watford FC. Im sure you will join me in wishing them every success in their careers and hope they get a positive decision on their Professional contracts, which are due in the coming weeks. I would also like to welcome Aaron Goode, who has joined Andy Howell, as our second loan player from QPR. Aaron is a big strong defender who has previously been on loan at Kingstonian this season and I am delighted with the way he has quickly settled into the side and I hope he will stay till the end of the season.

Injuries and suspensions are finally clearing up, with Carl returning Tuesday, Chris back today and Ben Clark back in training with the youngsters this week. A couple of sour notes is that Karl Yelland was put on a drip and kept in hospital earlier this week after a lump appeared in his throat. He seems to be on the mend, but unlikely to be in action for a couple of weeks.

With 24 points still available, I am sure there will be plenty more twists and turns over the last few weeks of the season. I still stand by my prediction of 50 points for safety, which means a point a game from the last eight. Mind you, three quick wins would do nicely, and that would help the players to play with more confidence and freedom and get rid of that anxiety which they have been showing in recent weeks. It might even allow all of us to enjoy the remainder of the season. Mind you, we are Wealdstone, so dont expect an easy ride.

Enjoy the game and really get behind the lads from the start. Your voice matters.

All the best

Gordon

5th January 2008

The following appeared in the programme for the game against Horsham played on the 5th Jan 08.

Good afternoon everyone and a warm welcome to you all for today's latest league fixture against Horsham to whose players, officials and supporters we extend that courtesy and trust they enjoy their short stay with us and that they have a safe journey home at the end of today's proceedings. A mention also goes out to this afternoon's match officials. Enjoy the game.

I'd like to take the opportunity of wishing everybody concerned with the football club a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2008 and hope you all had a good Christmas and new year. As much as we all enjoy this time of the year I must say that, personally, I'm always quietly relieved when it's all over and some normality can be resumed. Vital brownie points have been secured with her indoors over the last couple of weeks and should surely see me through to the end of the season before a summer holiday takes care of the first half of next years campaign !

Horsham arrive here today sitting 9th in the table at the time of writing a couple of points better off than ourselves having only played 17 games thus far whilst today signals the halfway mark of the season for us. If you're one for statistics Horsham are one of only two teams, certainly in the top four levels of the non-league pyramid, who have yet to draw a game this season in the leaguethe other being Rushall Olympic of the Southern League Midlands Divisionstrange but true !

The Christmas period has seen Horsham mirror our achievements with two wins (away to Tonbridge/home to Margate) and a defeat (home to Maidstone). The only difference being that their defeat came in the first of those three fixtures whilst ours was in our last game to an in-form, hard working and well drilled, if unspectacular, Ashford Town. Whilst not wishing to make excuses, as our performance was nowhere near the levels we have reached, and expect, in recent times, the loss of a number of players due to a combination of illness, unavailability and injury resulting in a necessary change of formation certainly didn't help our cause.

Hopefully that situation has been rectified come kick-off time and we can set off on another good run. We had targeted six or seven points from the Christmas period but, after securing six of these in the first two games, were hugely disappointed to not achieve a 'maximum.' Horsham's last two victories seem to have arrested a mini slump in form after their FA Cup exploits and, will therefore, be a good test for us today.

Talking of the FA Cup it's always nice to see non-league clubs doing well and I'm sure the financial rewards gleaned from various sources will go some way to helping today's visitors with their new ground which I believe will be ready in a couple of years time whilst they do a Wealdstone and groundshare at nearby Crawley Town. If only getting a new ground was that easy!

The FA Cup continues today with my beloved QPR travelling to arch rivals Chelsea of the Premiership. Fingers crossed it stays respectable else tomorrow could be a very long day at work indeed! Being a Rangers nut my interest in the Premier League has waned somewhat in recent years for obvious reasons but I watched with some interest the Man City/Liverpool game sometime last week with some confusion. I say that because I witnessed the home side, complete with £30m of summer signings, a fantastic unbeaten home league record and one of the most successful club managers the game has ever seen, set out specifically to stifle their opposition in pursuit of a draw.

It got me thinking as to what one perceives as a realistic ambition and whether 40 odd thousand Mancunians felt they'd got their hard earned money's worth from their vastly overpaid heroes?! What do we at Wealdstone class as a realistic ambition? Would a mirror image second half of the season resulting in a points tally of around the 60 mark be deemed as successful? Unfortunately I didn't get a crystal ball for Christmas but, as much of a cliché as it sounds, what I can promise is that we will continue to take each game as it comes, work as hard as we possibly can and try to give as much value for money as possible to those who give up their time and money to watch and support us.

Putting things into perspective somewhat I, along with every other football fan, was deeply shocked at the death of Motherwell's Phil O' Donnell. A seemingly fit and healthy young man with a wife and family cut down in his prime, especially at this time of the year, has affected the footballing community from top to bottom. There but for the grace of God go the rest of us. I didn't know him personally but I do know one of the players at Motherwell and his death has had a profound affect on everybody connected with the club. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this terrible time.

Which leads me on to a comment from the Gaffer during last weeks pre-match speech about how much he is enjoying, and is excited by, his football at the moment. I'd like to echo those sentiments and let recent events serve as a timely reminder as to why we're involved in the beautiful game.

On a lighter note yours truly was hauled before the Kangaroo Court that is the fines committee last week to explain my late arrival to the Boxing Day massacre at Harrow Boro and last weeks Ashford Town game. Fortunately Messrs Ashe & O'Leary showed a previously before unseen sympathetic side in accepting my argument as to the perils of shift work, especially around the holiday period, and the ridiculous amounts of annual leave I have to take every year as it is, in order to stay involved in the game! Violin over ! Cheers fellas !

A big thanks also to Leo for assuming control of the warm up for the afore-mentioned games. Not only is the spirit amongst the players as good as we can ever remember it but the relationship, trust and friendship between Gordon, Leo and myself as a management group grows ever stronger which can only serve to benefit the team and football club as a whole. There are no egos or personal agendas at work just an overriding desire to do the best we can. Not something I've always witnessed during my time in the game.

Anyway, other than a quick thank you to everyone at the club for their help and support during 2007, enough of my ramblings and on to the football. As ever, thanks for your continued support and here's to three points. Up the Stones. Cheers

Gilly

 

14th December

Programme Notes from the FA Trophy 1st round tie versus Wymouth played Friday 14th December

Good evening and welcome to this evenings game in the first round proper of the FA Trophy against Conference League side Weymouth. Im sure someone will tell me the exact date and the opposition, but it must be a considerable time since Wealdstone last meet a Conference outfit in a competitive game and probably even longer since we competed against full time opposition.

What a wonderful challenge this really is tonight. Our supporters will relish another opportunity to get behind the lads and maybe rekindle memories of past FA Trophy glory days, as we endeavour to take another scalp of a team higher up the non-league pyramid. With Conference South sides, Stortford and Welling already under our belts this season, we now take on a much more difficult proposition in a very experienced Weymouth side. Not only littered with ex professionals and fresh from an excellent FA Cup run, I also read on their website that they seem to have got over their recent injury troubles and Manager, Jason Tindall is very positive about a steady climb up the table.

My biggest disappointment is that we have not been able to watch Weymouth, which is something we have done with all the Connie South sides weve played so far this season. It was already going to be difficult with only two Saturday matches since the draw, but last Saturday home game with Farsley Celtic was cancelled, which made it impossible. Ive had to rely on Willie Wordsworth at Cambridge United and one or two others to gleam bits of information, but its never the same.

I write these notes on Sunday evening after a frustrating weekend with both our first team and reserve matches cancelled due to the heavy rain. Desperate for my football fix, I ended up watching Uxbridge comfortably beat Abingdon 2-0 in the Southern League SW Div 1 and seeing many old faces including ex Stones Wayne Carter and Jay Carbon as well.

I must admit, I hate not having a game at the weekend because it leaves you emotionally flat. I always get a real buzz when we win, frustration if we lose or what might have been if we draw, but I always have some sort of feeling at the end of it....but that was certainly not the case this weekend. It was made even more disappointing when I was told by the Maidstone physio that they had seven players out and the GK had the flu! They were delighted it was off!

My only emotion really came on Saturday when I saw Alan Walker arrive with his Maidstone side just as the referee had cancelled the game. He had a serious spinal injury due to a freak accident while instructing on a FA coaching badge in Ireland, which left him paralyzed with no feeling in his legs. He has spent months in hospital with fears that he would never walk again, but with his typical fighting spirit he has proved the doctors wrong and it was great to see him up on his feet looking so good again. It has certainly changed his life, but the driving force behind his recovery has been his players and he appreciates all the banter he gets in the dressing room. It just made me realise that although Ive been frustrated that my recent knee operations have not been successful, Ive got nothing to moan about compared to some.

Gilly spoke about recent games in his last notes, but I must highlight the win at Boreham Wood. I thought it was the most complete performance of the season to date and one that the players need to set their standards by in the future. With a little more consistency, who knows where we could finish. Even without a game last Saturday, our league position didnt suffer too much, as the league continued the same trend as usual, with another day of close matches.

I know a few people raised their eyebrows earlier in the season, when I said this was the best group of players I had assembled since I joined the club. There is a good balance, a real belief and a great team spirit amongst the squad and I believe that some of our supporters are at last starting to believe we are on the verge of something good.

Looking at the season so far and taking into account the early season problems, I think we can look back with a lot of satisfaction that things are going in the right direction. At the start of this campaign and with virtually a new side, Id have settled for mid table in December, with games in hand and still in all competitions apart from the FA Cup. Actually, that may have changed by tonight as were due to play Hampton last Tuesday (weather permitting) in the Middlesex Senior Cup. With a busy holiday period and tonight in mind, I intended to use that game to get some match fitness for those lads whove not been starting recently. I hope my earlier statement still stands after Tuesday.

It was good to see a few of the squad players getting 90 minutes in the reserves 4-0 win against Enfield at Ruislip Manor last week, especially with Deano getting a couple of goals as well.

On the subject of players, we have signed right back Karl Yelland from Poole Town who hopefully made his debut in the County Cup game on Tuesday. He is a former QPR youngster who played for Wales U.19s. and although still lives in Dorset, is looking for a return to London in the New Year. Another recent addition on the right side is Alex Campana who we have signed on loan from Watford as part of his footballing education. I thought he had an excellent debut and if he goes on to do as well as Jon-Joe and Theo have done since returning, I am confident he can have a very successful future. The reason for signing these players is simple. Since the departure of Jomo and now the long term groin injury to Ben Clarke whilst away on England duty, it has left us very light down the right side.

Jomos decision to move to St. Albans still baffles me. It is now six weeks and it seems all that interest he was attracting from the professional clubs has died away. I wonder if his agent has any regrets about the advice he gave him at such an important time in his career.

Our ex players have been in the news again last week. Jermaine, Jon Joe and Theo all scoring in midweek, then J scoring two more for Leeds on Saturday and Theo getting another for Hereford. With the January transfer window looming, we are all wondering if the big move maybe on the cards and our own windfall may not be too far away. Lets hope he keeps banging them in over the next three weeks!

Also in the news is our own Chairman, Howard Krais, who, after one night on the non league radio show, has suddenly become the sexiest Chairman in Non League football!

Quite an accolade, but if his two predecessors at Wealdstone are anything to go by, Paul and Nick, I fear the competition is extremely limited. Im sure Katie is impressed with his new title and Im also told that it will not be long before we need an extra steward at games to look after his very own groupies.

On the subject of news, it was interesting to read the views of Graham Westley about motivation players in the non-league paper last week. I could relate to his article 100% when he mentioned Rocky Baptiste as the one player he found most difficult to get the best out of. Now enjoying FA Cup glory with Havant and Waterlooville, where the Assistant Manager is Charlie Oatway, who Im sure Leo will agree, I still maintain had the most passion and desire of any player who has ever played for us. One thing is for certain, he wont stand for any of Rockys mood swings.

Anyone who reads Howard blog, will have an insight into just how much work goes into running a club but a work colleague of mine couldnt believe how often my phone was ringing last week. He thought that managing was just about running the team! When I mentioned the meetings with the Japanese about bringing players over, the Stanmore scholarship scheme meetings, Ruislip Manor, Barnet FC and Prince Edward playing fields as well as board meetings, financial meetings, training, scouting, programme notes, club call line and of course the matches. I think he now has a better understanding of the time commitments involved!

Well, I think Ive exhausted most topics of conversation, so Ill finish by coming back to tonights game. Hopefully the pitch will still be in decent condition, despite the fact this is the fourth game scheduled here this week, but Im sure the groundsman will continue to work hard to give us the best possible surface to play on this evening. Whatever its like, I just hope we can give a good account of ourselves again and try to give Weymouth as many headaches as possible.

So come on everybody, lets create a great atmosphere here tonight, really get behind the lads, and with a little bit of luck, we could actually cause our third cup shock of the season!!

Enjoy the game.

Gordon

10th November

Programme Notes from the home game against Hendon game played Saturday 10th November.

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Northwood Park as we return to league action against our near neighbours Hendon to whose players,officials and supporters we wish a warm welcome and trust they enjoy their brief stay with us. Hopefully that's the only courtesy we extend as we aim to continue our recent improvement with 3 valuable league points. On a personal note I'm delighted to see Hendon carrying on their good form from the back end of last year into this campaign. After leaving the pro-game Hendon were my first non-league club and,although my stay was relatively brief due to work commitments,under the guidance of Mickey Janes and Ron Juke and with players of the calibre of Dave Root,Phil Gridelet,Martin Duffield,Gary Keen,Dermot Drummy and Iain Dowie to name but a few,were without doubt the best group of players ability wise I was ever involved with during my non-league career. Anyway,enough strolling down memory lane and back to the job in hand.

It seems as though every game lately has been in one or other of the cup competitions but somewhere in-between our FA Cup and Trophy exploits our last 2 league games have yielded maximum points with much welcomed clean sheets against a tough,resolute Hornchurch side and a youthful and talented Leyton side whose performance certainly belied their league position. Our aim now is to carry on our recent revival and put some more points on the board in a league which is extremely close and a couple of wins will put a much healthier slant on things. What has been most pleasing lately has been our ability to win in different ways. Some decent football was played in the Hornchurch and Woodford games under difficult circumstances and our second goal last week, as a team effort, won't be bettered all season in my opinion whilst the result at Leyton was ground out via sheer hard work,determination and a resiliance to not concede nor get beaten. It's certainly something we've been trying to instill into the players and a bit of self belief can go a long way.

One of the major factors in our recent upturn in form is our return from injury of some key players and if we can stay relatively healthy can see some good times ahead. Many observers have stated that we currently have the best group of players the club has had for a long time and it's indicative that the likes of Monty,Deano and Andre for example are having to be patient,wait for their opportunity and take them when they come. It's important that the players on the fringes,for whatever reason,stay focused,train hard and are ready when they get the nod. On the flip side we seem to be picking up some unnecessary bookings/sendings off in recent times and sods law dictates that the subsequent suspensions will co-incide with an injury or two so, whilst still encouraging an aggressive approach to games ,we need to conduct ourselves in a controlled and disciplined manner. We feel we have put together a decent squad and want the headache of having everyone available for selection as often as possible. I'm delighted to see James Gray finally put a Stones shirt on after all of his injury problems and frustrations and the early signs are that he can have a significant role to play throughout the season and become a firm favourite on the terraces even if he is a "dirty northener". Only joking mate.

We were all bitterly disappointed at Jomo's decision to sign for St Albans. Despite our best efforts and Gordon's tireless efforts behind the scenes negotiating with league clubs for trials etc his advisors felt that it was in his best interests to move on. A big blow certainly as we felt he would certainly leave sooner rather than later but with the raw materials at his disposal felt his next move should've been into the professional game. Still,a hugely likeable and unassuming young man he goes with our best wishes and sincerely hope he realises his dream and that his "advice" is better come his next move.

On the subject of players in the pro-game am delighted to see the continued progress of Jermaine and Theo - still banging in the goals for Leeds and Hereford respectively and now add to that list of former Stones making their way in the professional ranks is John Joe O'Toole whose breakthrough into Watford's first team was particularly pleasing. We seem to have a knack of signing young pros on loan who ultimately go on to do well in league football and are genuinely nice fellas as well - hopefully Sean and Alan will be the next two names on that particular list.

Gilly

 

12th September

 

Stones injury problems continued on Saturday 8th Sep in the match away at Chelmsford when defender Carl Martin limped off again and he could be unavailable for up to 3 weeks. He joins Dean Papali, James Gray and Stephen Hughes who are still out with no firm dates when they will be available for selection.

 

26th Aug 2007

Stones injury problems mount...

Wealdstone are meeting the considerable challenge of currently having up to nine first team players unavailable due to injury and suspensions.

The latest player to suffer injury is new on loan signing from QPR, Sean Thomas,19, a highly rated Goalkeeper who has previously had loan spells with Bristol City. Stones Manager Gordon Bartlett said: ' There was an opportunity to take Sean on temporary loan from QPR as he needs games and competitive experience. He was signed to compliment the team but he has sustained an injury during the Margate game and this adds to our overall problems with unavailability at present - particularly the situation with our back players'

Amongst the injured at present are defenders Marcus Gross and Carl Martin whom are still at least a couple of games away from being in the reckoning with hamstring problems, whilst front players Dean Papali and Stephen Hughes, recently signed from Maidenhead, are 2-3 weeks away from a return. James Gray is still suspended and is also struggling with an ankle injury, as is Jomo Faal - Thomas.

The management team are able to report some good news, however, as midfielders Chris Owens and Steve Brown are now available for selection following completion of suspensions carried over from last season.

It is not Bartlett's intention to sign more players as cover ' We have to get through this challenging little period and battle it out - I have complete faith in the players and we have already seen what they can do. The number of injuries and selection issues we have at present undoubtedly affects game plans and the balance in the side' he said.