July 22, 2018

WILTSHIRE LEAGUE: No pressure on Bulldogs says boss Cochrane

Bassett Bulldogs boss Colin Cochrane says there is no pressure on his side as they make the step up to the Wiltshire League.

The Bulldogs have enjoyed two fine seasons, earning back-to-back promotions to make the move up a tier.

But boss Cochrane has insisted there is no pressure on his side as they kick-off their season with a trip to Pewsey Vale Development on Saturday.

“We’ve got absolutely no pressure whatsoever,” Cochrane said.

“You hear a few grumbles that we are going to struggle through the season so maybe that’s motivation for my boys to prove those doubters wrong.

“My opinion is there is no pressure, let’s see what it’s like because we deserve to be here with the back-to-back promotions.

“It will be nice to see what we can do and how far we can go.”

And Cochrane admitted the speed at which his side have been able reach the Wiltshire League has taken him by surprise but said the club’s goal was to reach this level.

“We looked at it a couple of years ago and evaluated where we wanted to take the club,” he said.

“We decided we wanted a bit more, we didn’t just want to stick around playing football for a laugh.

“It was something we wanted to do (get into the Wiltshire League) but to be honest I didn’t realise it would happen this quick with the same group of players.

“We have recruited a few new players but the majority of the squad has been the nucleus of the squad from the very beginning.”

The Bulldogs have boosted their ranks with a handful of players with experience in the Wiltshire League but Cochrane says he will remain loyal to those who helped get the club where they are now.

Their first assignment is Pewsey Vale Development on Saturday, however Cochrane is not reading anything into the oppositions poor campaign last season.

“They’re a development side so their team could be totally different from last season,” he said.

“We haven’t had a very good pre-season at all but we do tend to have poor pre-seasons.

“I don’t know whether that’s because we are starting the season a month earlier than we are used to doing.

“Results haven’t gone our way but pre-season is all about getting fit.

“I don’t want the guys to look at their (Pewsey’s) results last year and think it’s going to be an easy ride because it definitely isn’t going to be.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cricklade Town open with a home match against Shrewton United whilst Purton, who have dropped down from the Hellenic League, travel to Melksham Town Reserves.

Last season’s champions Wroughton are away at Trowbridge Town and Royal Wootton Bassett Development make the trip to Ludgershall Sports.

Newcomers Kintbury Rangers welcome Devizes Town Reserves with Malmesbury Victoria Development and Corsham Town Reserves hosting Marlborough Town and Wesbury United Reserves respectively.

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