Swindon Supermarine’s eagerly anticipated clash with Salisbury was one of seven Southern League – West fixtures to be postponed on Saturday due to the weather, leaving players, management and supporters disappointed writes Nick Taylor.
Thanks mainly to a very heavy deluge of rain over lunchtime, the fixture was called off by the match day referee, who himself have travelled up from Weymouth, at 1.30 p.m.
Off those games that did survive the weather on Saturday, results generally went their way for Marine, with Evesham, Didcot and Yate all losing.
A frustrated Marine interim manager Lee Spalding ensured his playing squad still maintained their fitness levels with a tough one hour’s training session in the impressive ‘Swindome’ adjacent to the Webbs Wood Stadium pitch.
“It’s massively disappointing to be honest, I was really looking forward to it,” said Spalding after the enforced training session, “It could work in our favour because we have still got players to come back. But at the same time when I look at the team I had written down, I think we had enough on the day to get a result. Josh (Parsons0 is struggling with his knee, he’s tweaked his medial ligament so I think he will be out for a week. I could of had him on the bench and risked him but it wasn’t worth it, if he is then out for another six weeks that would be a problem as he’s a real asset to us.”
The impromptu session in the Swindome allowed new signing Michael Hopkins to become better acquainted with his new team mates with Spalding pleased to add him to his squad, “First of all I’m delighted to have him on board, he’s a great player and has got a great left peg on him. It just gives us great balance on the left side. I thought it was an area we needed to get someone in so we can have competition for places in the squad. I’ve watched him two or three times and he’s been outstanding.”
After completing his first full training session, Michael Hopkins explained how the move came about, “I’ve known several players that are here and they sold the club to me. They all said what a great place it was so it was quite an easy decision for me. It’s always nice to have a few friendly faces when you walk in, but even today in the first session all the lads welcomed me straight away and I’m sure I’ll fit in really well.”
Bicester-based Hopkins has plied his trade at several nearby clubs, starting out as part of Reading F.C’s Academy of Excellence before departing at the age of sixteen. “I started off at Reading a long, long time ago, it was when I had a hair line actually! I’ve played at Banbury, Didcot, Hungerford and North Leigh for a couple of spells so I’ve played a lot of football at this sort of level. One of the first games I played this season was here (at Supermarine) on a very warm day and it was a good battle.”
Supermarine are next in action when they travel west to face league leaders Taunton Town this coming Saturday 17th February and the club are running a coach to the game, departing from the Webbs Wood Stadium at 11.30 am with a cost of £10. To book a seat contact the club via www.swindonsupermarinefc.com