Aylesbury United News Story

Meet The Manager Round-up

Friday 22 November 2019 - 09:46 am | Added by: Admin to Club News, First Team | |

Finishing the season in the top half of the table would be a fantastic achievement, says manager Ben Williams. Meet The Manager round-up provided by Paul Snell.

Speaking to fans at the 21CD Meet the Manager and Quiz Night in Aylesbury on Monday evening, Ben reiterated his ambition for the season – to stay up – has not changed, but added he’d love to build on the team’s impressive start in the league.

“If we finish in the top half of the season, that’d be fantastic. I’d love to be in the play-off positions around the end of February/March, because that means we’ve got something to play for and makes the season a bit more exciting. That’s the goal,” he said.

Discussing the start of the season, which saw the Ducks unbeaten for nine league games, Ben said it has given the team a great platform on which to build.

“Normally most of the season we’re in the bottom half – bottom six, if I’m honest –and are always looking to get up into the top half. Because we’ve started the season so well, we’re in the top half and everyone’s trying to play catch up.”

The new signings that joined the club in the Summer have played a big role in this, with Ben praising Dave O’Connor, Jordan Jenkins, Ken Feyi, Ty Deacon and Mark Riddick.

“Mark Riddick is one of those that went under the radar at his previous clubs, which is how we were able to get him, and has done a fantastic job. Not just with his aerial ability and his ability to read the game well, but because he’s a fantastic footballer,” he said.

Williams also highlighted the improvement in those who’d stayed with the club. “What’s helped bring them on this year has been we’ve had a stronger squad. Whereas last year they probably subconsciously felt I’m going to play anyway, now they’re playing to stay in the team, because there’s five players on the bench who should probably be playing as well.”

Loan signings will continue to have a role to play too. “We have a core group pf players that are here, and there are a few that dip in and out to give us a pick-up throughout the season. Sydney Ibie came in, who gave us that x-factor going forward, and now there’s Jamie Jellis too.”

The defensive improvement was raised by fans, and while the discussion of tactics will stay among those in the room (to avoid the attention of eagle-eyed opposition scouts!), Ben admitted last year the team had been too open at times, and that’s something the management team has tried to address.

He also repeated that the players love the support they receive home and away, although for those not accustomed to it, it has taken time to get used to.

“The new guys find it a bit unusual because they haven’t had it at their previous clubs. We talk to them about going over at the end of games to clap the supporters, and they find it a little embarrassing because they’ve never experienced it before. Because we have a fantastic following at every game, it’s educating them that this is a proper non league football club with supporters, and that’s how we do it here.”

With Williams scheduled to take charge of the Ducks for the 100th time in the New Year, he was asked for the highlight of his time at the club. He settled on the final game of the 2017-18 season away against promotion chasing Hartley Wintney, which saw the Ducks run out 4-3 winners.

Ben Williams