“There are some top quality sides in the league. It’s a shame the standard of refereeing can’t match it”
The opposition interview series continues, and it’s the turn of Jamie Buckland to answer questions on his team Maidenhead United:
TT – Hi Jamie thanks for talking to us, before we discuss the team tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you supported Maidenhead?
JB – I’m Maidenhead born and bred and been watching The Magpies through thick and (very) thin times over the past 23 years.
How did pre-season go and did the club make any notable signings?
We went through pre-season unbeaten playing (and beating) most notably the Kuwait national side and League Two outfit Stevenage. We lost 8 players from last season’s squad but replaced them with equally or if not better players – 11 in total – and the Chairman didn’t spend a penny on any of them. Joe Ellul at centre back and Josh Smile in midfield are two that have had a great start to the season.
The Magpies were amongst the favourites for relegation, what are your expectations for 19-20?
As with the past two seasons when we were odds-on to go down we survived, so long as we finish outside of the bottom four, I’ll be more than happy. With budgets as they are in this league we are very much a minnow.
How have the first few games gone?
We’re still part-time, but Dev has the squad training an extra day this season and it seems to have had an effect.
Which players should we look out for and why?
I’ve said enough in answering question 2. I don’t want to let on too much!!
Who is the man in charge and what sort of tactics does he employ?
Alan Devonshire. The past few seasons it been a long ball fest, but in pre-season and the first few games of this, we’ve been pinging it about. Maybe it’s the better players we’ve brought in.
How’s the Magpies away following, will you bring many down to Plainmoor?
A lot depends on the location of the opposition and the time of the kick-off, but we usually average between 60-80. That may not sound much, but we used to be proud of having 200 at home when we were in the lower reaches of the football pyramid.
Who do you think will be challenging for promotion this season?
Solihull, Fylde, Dover and Wrexham. From a totally selfish point of view, if we manage to stay in the National League I’d like to see the northern teams go up and some southern teams come down. A few less long haul journeys.
How do think TUFC will fair and how do you rate the standard of the NL?
I’m sure you’ll hold your own. It’s an incredibly tight league where anyone can beat anyone. There are some top quality sides in the league. It’s a shame the standard of refereeing can’t match it.
And finally, give us a match prediction for Tuesday night?
Although we had a nightmare on our last visit, 4-0 down before we knew it after a late kick-off having had the first team stuck on the M4 (and seemingly still there during the first half hour of the game) I think this will be a slightly tighter affair. 1-1.