Friday, 13 September 2013

Yorkshire Amateur are ahead of schedule - manager Phil Harding

By James Grayson (Twitter: @jamesAgrayson)
Yorkshire Amateur joint boss Phil Harding is keeping his team grounded after the Ammers moved into third place in the Toolstation NCEL Division One table.
Harding, Lincoln Richards and coach Andy Blair took charge at Bracken Edge in the summer and have enjoyed a great start to the campaign.
The Ammers, who finished second bottom last season, celebrated a 3-1 victory at Worsbrough Bridge on Tuesday night, but Harding is refusing to start re-evaluating his season targets,
“No (the expectations haven’t changed), we’re still going to go for the top ten,” he said.
“Anything after that is a bonus. Just because we are in third, anything can change.
“We could lose the next three games so we can’t get carried away.
“But, we are definitely ahead of schedule.
“When we played Emley (on the opening day), we had no pre-season, no friendlies and we didn’t have the right players at the time.
“They didn’t know the shape and the pattern of the game and we got overrun by a team who are a good side who kept their shape well.
“We started off slow to tell the truth. We lost our first two games and then won three on the bounce and then lost.
“But we have picked up now and we have won five out of six. It has been a matter of getting the team organised and getting the right players in the right positions.”
Harding has brought the likes of long-serving Thackley goalkeeper Mark Bower and former Farsley wing wizard Roy Stamer to the club – Stamer hit four goals on his debut last week.
The Ammers visit Knaresborough Town tomorrow and Harding, who doubles up as manager of the successful Chapeltown Fforde Grene Sunday side, admits there is a big difference between the competitive Leeds Sunday League and the NCEL.
Managing Ammers is Harding’s first experience of being in charge of a NCEL team.
He said: “It is a lot harder.
“You have got no easy games. All the teams are well-drilled. They keep their shape and you can’t break them down easily.
“If you don’t keep your shape you’ll get beat. On a Sunday morning you can play anybody and not keep your shape, but still win the game.
“Do that on a Saturday and you get beat.”

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