Former NCEL Manager, Josh Wright will miss the fixture through injury, but took the time to assess Athersley’s season so far. He told TBG, “games aren’t easy in this League and this Saturday will be right up there with the toughest. Hemsworth have already proven consistently that they are a quality side with a top Manager. Unfortunately, I picked up an ankle injury on Saturday which has ruled me out for a few weeks, but I know the lads will be right up for it – especially coming off the back of our 2-0 win against Liversedge.” writes Colin Muncie.
Reviewing the campaign thus far, Josh felt that Athersley didn’t get the rub of the green earlier in the season. “As has been well documented, we didn’t get off to the greatest start, but we knew we weren’t far away. Lapses in concentration cost us in certain games; at Garforth we never looked like getting beat but conceded in the last five minutes: we were 1-0 up until the 88th minute against Handsworth and lost 2-1; we missed a penalty at 0-0 against Maltby and conceded in the 90th…… so we knew we weren’t far away, but we also knew we only had ourselves to blame.”
In the last few weeks results have been better. “Recently we have got some decent results and put in some good performances,” Josh told us, “none more so than last Saturday, which was a solid away performance.”
“The club is fantastic, run by proud local people and volunteers,” Josh insisted. “The squad is one of the best I’ve ever been involved in. We stick together and there’s some great experience there with the likes of Ad and Ry White, Lee Garside and Jack Briscoe plus some really good young lads like Alex Hutchinson, Spencer Shepherd and Kyle Wordsworth. This dressing room is top quality, there’s not many brains – but we are solid as a group!”
Josh feels that the sense of togetherness is all-important. “We are not a group of players who look for excuses or want to play the blame game – when we were thumped by Worksop, for example,” he insisted, “we accepted the reasons we lost, we are hard on each other and then we put it right. Hopefully we can start to put a consistent run of results together now that we’ve managed to move up to mid-table.”
Josh jumped at the chance to sign on at Sheerien Park. “From a personal point of view, I was only ever going to sign for Athersley this year,” he admitted. “Getting the chance to play under one of my best mates in the game in Potts (Manager, Luke Potter) was something I couldn’t turn down. There’s no pressure on me, I’m just here to enjoy playing and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Recently I’ve dropped back to centre back which has taken some getting used to.”
“I’m gutted to be missing Saturday’s game, but I’m sure it will be a really good game and one that I’m sure the lads will be fired up for – as well as our loyal fans.”