We caught up with all the Managers from each of our age groups and Academy for a quick summary on their seasons…
First Team – Dan Brownlie
I’d firstly like to say a huge thank you to all of our supporters who have both home and away have travelled in their vocal numbers and supported the boys through thick and thin. It’s not always been an easy watch, but your loyalty to the cause will be repaid. Amongst a long line of other thank yous and I’m almost embarrassed to group them as one as they do so much for the club – our volunteers. Terry has gone on record a number of times referencing them as the life blood of clubs – and it couldn’t be a truer sentiment. From our stewards, to the our match day hospitality staff, car park attendants, ticket and merchandise sellers; whilst it at times may feel like a thankless task – I can assure you it is appreciated by everyone. Inside my changing room; we have a small but vitally important group of people. Brian & Jack have been an unbelievable help in ways that go far beyond their roles within the club. Brian’s contribution in man hours is phenomenal and added his financial generosity has been overwhelmingly helpful. Then you’ve got Jack; who’s love for the club is stronger than I’ve ever known anyone of anything! Both are massively loved by our boys; of which they are constantly reminded that their efforts on the pitch should be afforded for the efforts of there’s alone! Gideon, an ex-academy lad has been fantastic as physio this year; his work with individual’s has been first class and he’s a great testament to the academy system. Troddy; who I’ve given many late night headaches in trying to sign a player on at the death because of illness or injury to others; an incredibly knowledgable football guy whose quiet work goes unnoticed by many but he has been a crucial cog in the BTFC machine. Also a big thank you to our latest additions in Lance Forster & Geriant Holliman our innovative goal-keeper coaches. Goalkeeping is such an isolated skillset and being able to lean on the knowledge and experience of those two has been really beneficial.
I’d also like to thank all of the coaches involved in our system, the development of all the boys has been very impressive from Dan and Aaron’s Youth sides all the way down to the youngest age groups. Your enthusiasm underpins their success and we’ll no doubt benefit in the future from it.
Aaron Nicholson has been a huge help across the ‘season’; when the news broke of Martin’s departure – he stepped up almost instantly and has been a calm, measured and welcomed addition ever since. We’ve only really got to know each other on the job; and we’ve developed a good relationship in the process built on trust and passion for the club.
And lastly, to my players. We’ve been fortunate enough to offer debuts to many youth players this season; it’s an important step to give them a taste of first team football and I’ve no doubt there will be many more occasions where we see those boys in blue and yellow. We’ve also been able to utilise our newly formed links with Forest Green and Wimbledon by obtaining the talents of Zach, Reuben, Elliott and Alfie – all of which were superb, they understood what it was to play for Basingstoke; of course not forgetting Aaron Kuhl’s involvement whilst on loan from Slough Town and Conor Lynch from Hungerford- both talents with an equally matched personality. We’re in regular contact with all of them and what’s more they’re all very positive about their time at Basingstoke Town and in particular the way they were welcomed and treated throughout their time with us. All of my boys this year have all player their part – their attitudes and spirit have been spot on and whilst we’ve not had the season we wanted – they’ve never shirked any challenge that’s been put their way; both on the pitch and off it.
It’s now a chance to regroup, look at where we want to be next year and put a plan into practice on how we want to achieve that. Thank you to everyone for their help and support this season.
Basingstoke Academy – Aaron Nicholson
As you may have seen the season has finished for our youth and academy… I’ll leave our fantastic coaches to speak about there specific age groups but I’ll shed some light on a fantastic season for the full time academy.
Firstly Kalum cousins becoming Basingstokes first ever league top goal scorer… no doubt he would have scored more before now and the end of the season, but the stats don’t lie, a fantastic season in front of goal.
The most successful academy side we’ve had at the academy this year in terms of results and league position. Granted the season finished early but you would have climbed even higher in certain.
To all the 3rd years who’ve been on a journey with us since 1st year, a huge thank you. You’ve been at the club during times of turmoil and change… but each day you’ve come in with a willingness to learn and develop on and off the pitch.
A big mention to Aiden Harris, who for the last two years has shown what it takes to be a true academy captain both on and off the pitch. From myself and the club .. Thank you.
The new crop coming in look to be a talented bunch , and with lots more recruitment to hopefully next years 1st years can pick up where we have left off.
So from me for now WELL DONE on the league this year, it’s been a rollercoaster, but I’m proud of every single one of you whom has stepped out on the pitch for wearing that Basingstoke shirt. The future is very bright for all of you, keep pushing.
U18 Allied Counties – Dan Burgess
Basingstoke u18 Allied Counties Team- New to the Midweek League playing under the floodlights, The team made up players playing a year up, we saw the team put into arguably the toughest Divison (Central)
From start to finish this team showed determination and resilience and most importance togetherness, P11 W9 D1 L1 F66 A27 Top of the division and cup semi finalist. Big mention to Lance Forster for his all his help with GK Huw Huw Holliman great person to turn to for ideas, and parents for the travel hitting rush hour on away nights, and Julie Willis for helping out with gate on home games and organising the food for hospitality, and Mrs for washing the kit each week.
Under 16’s – Jason Kehoe & Maciej Wenger
The U16 players have demonstrated huge improvement throughout the season and have been rewarded for their belief and hard work with results that replicated their level of performance since the start of the year. The players are to be commended for their dedication and spirit during a slow start to the season when it was clear that the results did not match the individual quality of the players. The players ability to listen and fulfil their individual roles within a structured playing style, coupled with working extremely hard physically, saw the team start to realise some fully deserved and impressive results such as a 2-0 victory away at Eastleigh who had beaten the team heavily at the start of the season. It is hoped that a number of players will continue to improve and enjoy a successful scholarship before making first team appearances. Thank you to all the players for making the season so enjoyable and to the parents for their support to the coaches and the football club.
Under 13’s – Ben Wright
We were having a very successful season, particularly in 2020 which saw us win 3 of 5 league games, narrowly losing one when winning 2-0 and drawing another against a good side. We progressed through to the Semi-final of the Hampshire Cup after a string of good results, ultimately losing to a strong Romsey side who we then beat in the league! This in our first season at 11-a-side.
A huge thanks to Aiden Harris and Robert Peers who have both helped over the past 2 seasons. During this time they have both achieved their FA Level 2 coaching qualification and the boys enjoyed having them on board. Thanks to Jase Kehoe who also helped out and I think the boys really progressed during his sessions. A big thank you to all the parents who have suppported the team and the coaching staff throughout. A special thanks to all the parents who have helped with running the line and recruitment. The last thank you must go to the players. We have had some difficult games but the boys have remained a team and their attitude and effort has seen us improve greatly. We have a great nucleus of a team and if we can add another 2 or 3 players, we will have an exciting team next season. Roll on the football returning again!
Under 11’s – Tom Sims
Lots of highs and lows over the season with some fantastic performances from the boys. A particular performance I thought the boys showed me their absolute best was the away game against Southampton Girls. Overall though, the boys have showed massive individual and team progressions and showed me that they’ve learnt a lot over the season. Big thank you to the parents for their support every week, and also a special thank you to the dads who ran the lines for me (fairly as well, contrary to some of the opposition linesmen). A real shame that the season had to end early but I hope everyone is keeping safe inside. I’m currently doing lots of reading and other coaching related content to improve myself. I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck in to next season.
Under 10’s – Jason Kehoe
The U10 players have demonstrated their ability to listen, work hard and be a good team mate. The conduct of these basic principles has seen them all improve as individual players whilst also supporting their development to play within units. It has been extremely pleasing to see a swarm of lightening yellow shirts trying to win the ball back when out of possession and this, coupled with bravery on the ball when in possession, has led to some pleasing performances this year. It is hoped that the players will learn from their experiences so that, with support from their wonderful parents, they have every opportunity to fulfil their undoubted potential. Thank you to all the players for making this season so special and to the parents and guardians for their support to the coach and to the football club.