Published: 18-04-2018

Programme notes v MK Dons

Written by Neil Baker and Jon Underwood

Managers Note image

Managers Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

Whilst at the start of the season this would have been lower down on our priorities, it has actually been a pretty good tournament for us.

Managers Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

Good evening and welcome to Arbour Park for tonight’s Berks and Bucks semi-final against league one MK Dons.

Whilst at the start of the season this would have been lower down on our priorities, it has actually been a pretty good tournament for us with games against Wantage, Bracknell and now MK Dons, and with us mathematically safe in the play offs we can rotate the squad in the same way we have been doing in the league, and try to get through to a final.

Obviously MK Dons will come here looking for revenge on what was a relatively one sided match last year where we won the game 3-0, but where an inspired goalkeeping performance stopped it being a fair few more. The side we played last year were very young, however they will have had a further year of full time football and with one or two other potential fringe first team squad players I would expect us to be in for a much tougher game this evening.

From their point of view this is a good game to have, as they will play on a good surface in front of hopefully a healthy crowd, and for the development of their players it is only a good thing in my opinion, and I can’t for the life of me understand why Reading do not use the competition in the same way. Gone are the days that because they are a young pro side they will get kicked by a bunch of non-league cloggers.

These are the types of games young pro’s need if they are going to progress into league football, and I am sure that MK have a host of talented footballers within their ranks, but playing u23 football is very different to senior games. As I mentioned I believe this will be a much tougher game for us this year, and we will have to be at the races to get through to the final, however our lads have been in great form in recent weeks, and to keep up momentum I would hope that we can put in another good performance.

Chesham United were due to play Woodley United last night for the other place in the Final, which will be played here at Arbour Park regardless of the outcomes.

In terms of squad news Guy Hollis is away in Madrid with work, and Ben Harris is potentially less than a week away from full fitness. There is also an outside chance that Simon Dunn might be fit for a place on the bench.

Enjoy the game and we hope to see you at home against Royston for our last home league game of the season.

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