TT Match Preview – Concord Rangers by Alan Jessup-Peacock

“This season has seen the side play more football, when we’re in our flow and passing the ball around I believe we’re a match for anyone in this league”

TT grabbed a word with Concord Rangers programme editor Alan Jessup-Peacock before Saturday’s game at Plainmoor:

Hi Alan tell us a bit about yourself and what’s your connection with Concord Rangers?

I am a 35-year-old railway controller, grown up a West Ham fan on Canvey Island, Essex and first attended a Concord game in 2010 on the recommendation of a mate who was on the backroom staff at the time. That was the clubs first season in the Ryman (Isthmian) Premier, so I’m still new to the club really. At the time I was active on twitter and spent a lot of time writing online blogs, and during my second season going to see the club I was writing about them and the local derby matches against Canvey Island. A few people around the club read them and gave me some positive feedback, and as a result I got to know more and more people around the club, including the players. Initially I was asked to write a page or two for the matchday programme, then in 2014 I was asked to take over as programme editor and take a place on the club committee, a role I continue to hold to this day.

Rangers have had a solid start to the season, what were your expectations heading into 2018-19?

Given the quite significant changes that were made around the club over the summer of 2018, I expected to see us be competitive, but also expected a tough start as the near entirely new squad would take time to gel.

Concord1.jpg
Photo courtesy of Paul Raffety – @paulraff123

What’s been your highlights of the season so far and how’s your recent form been?

The 6 game unbeaten start to the season is definitely up there, as previously mentioned I was expecting a rough start as the team got used to each other, but the lads hit the ground running and getting wins over Dartford and Dulwich Hamlet were great to see. As for recent form, it’s been up and down. A tough and frustrating loss at Slough followed a hugely satisfying 3-0 win at home to Chelmsford City & a 2-1 win at Weston, but performance wise we’re looking positive and playing well.

Which Concord players should we be looking out for this Saturday and why?

I wouldn’t want to give the game away obviously, but Sam Blackman is a workhorse in the middle of the park and doesn’t stop running. He’ll get stuck in and will certainly have an impact on the game. Liam Nash is in on loan from Gillingham and he’s got an extra touch of class about him, already scoring a couple of cracking goals, and assistant player manager Jack Midson will more than likely pop up with a goal here or there.

Have you got the right man in charge and what sort of tactics does he employ?

Certainly, Sammy Moore took over the side in the summer along with Jack Midson and has rejuvenated the side. This season has seen the side play more football, when we’re in our flow and passing the ball around I believe we’re a match for anyone in this league, there’s more energy about the side and there seems to be a lot more positivity about our play.

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Photo courtesy of Paul Raffety – @paulraff123

Who owns/runs the club and what are their plans for the future?

Ant Smith is the club owner/chairman, but speak to him and its clear to see that he’s a fan before anything else, and the same goes for the rest of the committee. Ant has always said that he wants us to be competitive at the level we’re playing at, and would like a cup run to go with the league performances (obviously the funds a cup run provides always helps). With the changes over the summer, I’m sure Ant has more than just an eye on the play-offs, but he’s not one to heap pressure on the gaffer to make sure that’s done.

Tell us some interesting facts about the club?

We’re still a young club, formed in 1967 on a pitch near Concord Beach on Canvey Island (hence the name), and around 3 years ago we rebranded with a new club crest that you see today. It’s a simpler, bolder, better looking crest I feel, although when it changed it meant a lot of work for me in the matchday programme! Also, during a period of 8 years the club were promoted three times, from the Essex Senior League into the National League South, under the guidance of now Lincoln manager Danny Cowley along with Danny Scopes and Nicky Cowley.

Which opposition teams have stood out for you so far this season and who do you think will be challenging for promotion?

Billericay are a solid side, take away all the off the field stuff and just focus on the football and they’ll be challenging for the top spot in the league when the business end of the season comes around. I can’t see them falling away from the pack at all. Woking were also a very competitive side when they visited us, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them head back up through the playoffs when the time comes.

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Photo courtesy of Paul Raffety – @paulraff123

Will you bring many down to Plainmoor and what do you make of TUFC entering the NLS?

We’re still a small club, and whilst our support is growing every season, some of the longer away trips are still a bit of an ask. I know a few of the regulars are making a weekend away of it which is one of the reasons I was hoping this fixture would be early or late in the season! As for TUFC coming into the NLS, it’s another long trip for us (see Truro) but it’s good to be able to go up against an established side with the league history you guys have.

And finally, give us a match prediction for the weekend?

Both our sides are up there and looking towards the top of the league rather than the bottom, I’ve a feeling we’ll see a score draw this weekend. 2-2 is what comes to mind, but of course it all depends on the day! Cheers for talking to us Alan and also to Paul Raffety for the cracking match photos, good luck for the rest of your season – Dom

Concord4
Photo courtesy of Paul Raffety – @paulraff123

 


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