Wild weather wiped out the bulk of Saturday’s programme but the recent wash-outs have come at just the right time for at least one West Yorkshire League side.
While many teams are finding that the delays are hampering their run of form, for Division Two side, Middleton Park, it provides the perfect opportunity to re-group as they embark on a more positive second half of the season.
Manager, Wayne Dixon says his side are determined to make the most of the break. And it actually acts as a platform to go on to not only impress for the remainder of this campaign, but for the future as they start to establish themselves in the West Yorkshire League.
“After last year’s disappointing debut season, we are determined to build a team that compete and we think we have done that this year. We just can’t wait to kick on,” said Dixon.
“Our first team has a very small squad so the weather has helped us in some ways; we have been able to rest players who were carrying injuries which would have helped the older players in the team. Our team is very young overall and we feel we have a team that can compete for many years to come, and with a hand full of additions progress year on year.
“Hopefully the rest will inject a bit of energy into the lads as we have had time to look at issues.”
This weekend sees Middleton Park travel to high flyers Hall Green United, who themselves are pushing for promotion into Division One as they sit near the top in second place.
It’s an undeniably tough fixture away from home, especially with the gap in points that could phase any opponent.
But Dixon insists that the Middleton lads are up for the challenge. He says the goal is to not only upset the favourites, but also to work their way up the table: “We will concentrate on playing our game. The last thing we need is to be worrying about what could happen.
“We have already managed a point against them earlier in the season, so we are ready to compete again and, at the very least, make them work for their promotion. We still have several key players missing due to work and injury, but we will be determined that won’t affect our performance.”
He added: “We know that, at this level, games are lost due to various reasons and one of those is availability of players.
“I’m not saying they lost that game due to missing players, but I am pointing out that games can be lost for these reasons, so we shouldn’t get excited about them losing their last game.
“As for tactics, the lads know what we have worked on in the break, but I won’t be giving that away and giving the opponents a head start!
“I will say we intend to go out there, work as hard as we can for the full 90 minutes and really go and give them a game. I mentioned we had picked up a point and maybe we can go and emulate that this weekend; our goal is always the game in front of us, but who knows, we might even push ourselves and push for more than a respectable mid-table finish.”