“I’d be happy if we stayed up this season and had a year of consolidation“
The opposition interview series reaches number 6, as Rhys Emberson steps forward to answer our questions on his team Aldershot Town:
Hi Rhys thanks for talking to us, before we discuss the team tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you followed the Shots?
I was born in Aldershot in 1992 and currently work for Enterprise rent a car and have been supporting the club since my 9th birthday, which was a friendly at home to Wycombe in August 2001.
You were fortunate to escape relegation last season, what were the main reasons for your struggles?
The main reason I believe for our struggles was our recruitment. We lost a lot of key players such as Oyeleke (Port Vale) Reynolds and Alexander (Barnet) and we had some poor recruitment where it felt like we only got the spares no-one else wanted. Also the injuries really hit hard last season, including the loss of (my player of the season) George Fowler after the Bradford City FA Cup match in November.
What are your expectations for 19-20?
Expectations are low for myself this season with a new management team and a whole new crop of players, mostly very young with I believe an average age of around 21. I’d be happy if we stayed up this season and had a year of consolidation (without a reprieve).
How’s your start to the season been?
As starts go we’ve played a lot of teams who have started well, the current top 4 and league favourites Fylde. We played well against Fylde and were unlucky not to come away with at least a point, a good derby win at Woking followed but losses to Solihull and Bromley and a draw with Halifax sees us currently on 4 points, defensively we look good but for a lot of our fans it’s where are the goals going to come from.
Which players should we look out for this Saturday and why?
Keep your eyes on Ethan Chislett he looks like the player in this squad who can create something out of nothing. The two centre backs Finney and Fowler have started well and appear to have a good understanding and Shields looks like he can be a handful.
Have you got the right man in charge and what’s his tactical approach?
We’ve got Danny Searle in charge who managed 16 competitive games (at Braintree) before coming to Aldershot and he looks to have brought a bit of the feel good factor back, as he’s working hard to get the fans onside and work throughout the club to help this club become more of a community club. The passion of the management team is evident, I’m just hopeful we can start seeing results on the pitch.
What’s the Shots away following like and will many make the trip to Plainmoor?
We have a very good following. I won’t be making trip myself but some mates are making the journey down and making a night of it, so it should be a good following this weekend.
We have played each other on numerous occasions in the last 12 years! What’s your best and worst memories of the fixture?
The best memory goes without saying is that Scott Davies winner at Plainmoor in 2008 “there is to be late drama!” Overall we have a good record vs Torquay but the worst memory is being 3-0 up and losing 4-3 the season we were relegated from the league.
Who do think will be challenging at the top of the NL this season?
The teams challenging at the top this season for me will be Solihull and Fylde who are both heavily invested in. Wrexham are always there or there abouts and my dark horse is Dover. My girlfriend is a Dover fan so I do see a few of their matches. They play some good stuff and have some of the better players at this level in De Havilland, Worgan and Pavey.
And finally, give us a match prediction for the televised game?
I’m not confident but I’ll go with Torquay 1-1 Aldershot, will definitely take a point but I can see it being a 1-0/2-1 Torquay win.
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