|Looking Forward To The New Season - 18th May
Finchampstead Football Club’s President Richard Whitchurch-Bennett is pleased to confirm that Neil White and Bob Langridge are continuing in their first team management roles for its 2009/10 season league and cup campaign, which gets underway on August 10th.
Speaking at the club’s Annual Dinner at Trunkwell Manor on Friday night, he said “The club aims to recapture the Hellenic Football League Division One East title next season and everyone at the club is backing Neil (left) and Bob (right) to achieve this. In recent months the experienced team management duo has built up the nucleus of a very strong squad and this will be strengthened in one or two key positions during the close season. There is tremendous spirit and confidence in the side and we are convinced that the players will be adding silverware to the club’s trophy cabinet next season.”
The first team squad start training on Thursday, July 2nd in readiness for its pre-season friendly matches against Eversley (July 14th), Taplow United (July 18th), Farnham Town (July 21st), Letcombe (July 25th), Hartley Wintney (July 28th), Wantage Town (August 1st) and Camberley Town (August 5th).
The club offers superb playing and social facilities and any senior players interested in joining the club should contact Neil White on 07887 870400 for further details.
White Eyes Further Improvement - 30th April
Neil White looks back on his Finchampstead side’s season and admits he has mixed feelings about what they have achieved. They have collected 20 more points than they did during their last campaign and moved up three places from 14th to a very respectable 11th.
But whilst welcoming the improvement, White admits he can’t help feeling things could have been even better. He said: “I said I wanted a mid-table finish at the beginning of the season and we’re not far off that. But looking at things now I really do think that we should have done a bit better. When you look at it we had too many draws which we should have improved on. That’s something we will have to work on next season, turning those into wins.”
White, whose side thumped five past against Penn and Tylers Green last night, added: “There has been a big improvement though, no-one has bashed us up. We’ve drawn and lost by the odd goal to Binfield and taken four points off both Ascot and Wokingham. There’s something to build on there. If we can keep this squad together and maybe get in a goalscorer then we’ll be in good shape for next season.”
After 1-0 home defeat against champions Binfield on Monday, a Ben Knight hat trick and goals from Thomas and Ryan produced a winning end of season perfomance against Penn last night.
Physio's Actions Help Player - 16th April
Finchamstead's Joe Warner was rushed to hospital at the weekend with an injury manager Neil White described as the worst he has ever seen.
It happened 20 minutes into Finch’s penalty shootout defeat against Woodley Town in the Reading Senior Cup semi-final on Saturday. The midfielder suffered a dislocated fracture to his leg following a tackle from Woodley’s Nick Edwards and was left needing urgent medical attention.
Finch physio Shirley White, wife of the Finch boss, raced to the prone player and delivered vital first aid while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. He was then rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he had an operation to have two metal plates fitted in his leg before being released on Monday when he made it down to catch part of Finch’s 2-0 win against Wokingham and Emmbrook.
Neil White said: “It was the most horrendous of injuries. My wife is our physio and God only knows what would have happened if she wasn’t there. When we got to him the sole of his foot was pointing up to the sky. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Shirley was talking to the rapid response unit and she was saying she couldn’t find a pulse in the foot. Obviously if that happens you can end up losing the foot because the blood is not getting to it. They said it was a code red and fortunately the paramedics were there within five minutes. The game was delayed by about an hour as they sorted things out.”
White added: “It was the worst I’ve ever seen. We got the players away from it but you could see it really affected them. It was not a nice thing to see and obviously we’re all wishing him a speedy recovery. He managed to come down and catch some of our game with Wokingham on Monday. He was in good spirits and everyone was happy to see him.”
Finch are without a game this weekend but host Rayners Lane on Tuesday evening. They will be looking to continue the form they showed on Monday when they saw off local rivals Wokingham and Emmbrook 2-0 thanks to goals in either half from Danny Isaiew and Rob Yorke-Goldney.
That success came just two days after their heartbreaking semi-final defeat against Woodley which saw Finch edged out 3-2 on penalties after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra-time.
Finch ran riot against Prestwood last night in FTL Futbol Hellenic League Division One East, notching up 11 goals and a clean sheet for the keeper. James Knight (pictured) hit five!.
It's No Holiday For Finch - 10th April
A schedule that would turn Sir Alex Ferguson that peculiar shade of purple in rage. But, while Finchampstead boss Neil White admits that a crazy run of six games in 12 days is not ideal, he is backing his small squad to deal with the demands of the Easter period.
Starting with last Saturday’s win over Kintbury Rangers, Finch drew with Ascot United on Tuesday, and with Rayners Lane last night. It' Woodley Town tomorrow, in the Reading Senior Cup Semi-Final, then Wokingham & Emmbrook and Prestwood by this time next week. But ahead of a manic 10 days White said: “It’s not something we expected to have to deal with and it’s certainly not ideal. But we have got through this season without making too many changes and we hope we can carry that on. Saturday’s cup game against Woodley shows it all really. We’ll be in the middle of a run of six games in 12 days, and they will have had a two-week break.”
And despite the risk of fatigue affecting his players before the semi-final, White insists that the chance to play at the Madejski Stadium in the final of the competition will keep his players going. He added: “We’ve banned all talk of it until after the league game on Thursday, but when you enter a cup like this one, that is the carrot to do well in it.
“But there are some very good sides in the Reading League – you just have to look at what the last three teams to have come up from there to our league have done. Marlow United are a Premier club now, Ascot are top of our league and Newbury are fourth. Woodley are following in their footsteps and playing really well at the moment, so that tells you how tough a game it will be.”
Backburner For Cup - 2nd April
Neil White says his Finch side must put their Reading Senior Cup exploits to one side and concentrate on climbing back up the league.
Last weekend’s 2-1 win at Woodcote/Stoke Row saw Finch reach the semi-finals of the competition and left them just 90 minutes away from a spot in the showpiece final at the Madejski Stadium. White, pictured, admits that talk of a potential final spot was rife in the dressing room following the game but he is keen to re-focus his players on their league campaign.
On last Saturdays game White said: “The wind was so strong it ruined the game really. And just as the ref started the first half the hailstones started to come. It was very tough out there and was a real battle. It was a difficult game made harder by the weather. I told the guys that sometimes you have to win ugly. We’re in the semi-finals and that’s the important thing.”
He added: “Everyone was chuffed to bits on Saturday, the boys were all talking about the semi-final and the possibility of a Madejski Stadium final. But that’s still a few weeks down the line. We have to put those thoughts behind us and concentrate on this weekend."
“Our league form has not been great of late and we need to put that right. We’ve dropped two places in the last week to 12th. Thame and Penn & Tylers Green have moved above us so we need to get some points on the board.”
Finch face a tough test this weekend when Kintbury Rangers pay a visit to the Memorial Ground. Kintbury will arrive full of confidence following their 2-0 win against Wokingham & Emmbrook last Saturday and Finch will have to make do without the unavailable Dan Dudman.
Finch Back On Cup Trail - 26th March
Finchampstead will face Woodcote & Stoke Row this Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Reading Senior Cup after they appealed successfully against being thrown out of the competition.
Neil White’s men set up their clash with Woodcote after seeing off Cookham Dean in the last round following a 3-1 win. But they later found out that they had been kicked out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player. Cookham had claimed that Aston Robinson, who started up front for Finch, was cup tied having previously played for Highmoor Ibis earlier in the campaign.
Finch refuted this, however, and lodged an appeal with the Reading Senior Cup Committee and the Berks & Bucks FA. After more than a fortnight of waiting, they were informed on Tuesday that the appeal had been successful and they had been reinstated.
White said: “It’s great news for the lads. The carrot in this competition is that the final is at the Madejski Stadium so all the boys want to play there. They’d been asking each week what was happening but we couldn’t tell them because we didn’t really know. Then we heard on Tuesday that the appeal had been successful so everyone’s obviously chuffed to bits and really looking forward to Saturday.”
On the appeal itself, White said: “We always knew we were in the right. Some people said that Aston was cup tied but we knew he wasn’t. We checked it out and now we’re back in the cup so everyone’s happy.”
Finch were due to play local rivals Ascot United in a Division One (East) game this Saturday but that game will now be rescheduled for a later date.
White will be boosted by the return of Rob Goldney and Sam White for the quarter-final, but Scott Bursill is a slight doubt due to an ankle injury.
Halt Slide - 19th March
Finchampstead have been on an alarming run of late and Neil White be looking to turnaround a worrying run of form this Saturday when they travel to lowly Prestwood.
Finch have picked up just one point from a possible 12 and have seen themselves fall back down the table. Although they have no fears of relegation, White is still desperate not to let the season just peter out. He said: “One point out of 12 is simply not good enough. We need to get back to form and start getting some points on the board. We’d opened up a nice gap between ourselves and the teams below us but now they are right back with us again. It’s disappointing because we’d worked hard to get ourselves above mid-table. It’s been a frustrating spell but we must pick ourselves up again.”
On the trip to Prestwood, White added: “We’re a little bit light going over there. Rob Goldney, Sam Wyatt and Dan Dudman are all missing so we will have to bring a few reserves in. We always seem to struggle when we go there, they always tend to get an early goal. It’s not a place we usually get good results. But we want to get back to winning ways and this is a good chance of doing that.”
One Final Push For Finch - 12th March
Neil White wants his side to put together one final push before the end of the season, and has warned his players that they must raise their game or face the prospect of undoing all their hard work from the first half of the season.
The Finchampstead boss has guided his team into the top half of the table, but a run of just one point from a possible nine has seen their campaign hit the buffers.
White admits it is a worrying time and that his team must return to winning ways as quickly as possible. “We need to get some points on the board, one from our last nine is not good enough. When you look at the table you see that if you string a few wins together you can jump up the table, but if you lose a few then you will be overtaken. The problem is that it’s easy to talk about winning games in this league but it’s much harder to put your words into practice. We just need to start performing again. We’ve gone off the boil recently but one good win will put us back on track.”
Finch host Chinnor this weekend who will arrive at the Memorial Ground on the back of a 2-1 win at promotion-chasing Wokingham. White knows his side will be in for another tough afternoon but he will be boosted by the return of Dean Thomas, Danny Isaiew and Matt Wright.
He said: “Chinnor have improved massively since the last time we played them. They’re fifth now and on current form are a match for anyone in the league. So it’s going to be very difficult for us and everyone will have to be at the top of their game if we are to get a result.”
Surprised - 6th March
Neil White admits he is surprised that his side’s opponents on Saturday are not challenging the league’s top two.
The Finchampstead boss was very impressed with what he saw from Newbury when the two teams met earlier in the season. From that display he thought the league newcomers would be fighting for promotion, but a number of draws have all but ruled out that possibility. White said: “Newbury looked a very good side when we played them at their place. I knew then that they would be top three or four and that’s where they’ve been all season. To be honest I’m a bit surprised that they’re not thinking about winning the league. I thought they had a real chance but it looks like they’ve drawn a few too many games.”
Newbury arrive at the Memorial Ground having lost just twice in the league this season, a record only bettered by Binfield and Ascot.
But they have drawn nine times and as a result sit 12 points off the pace. White said: “When we went there earlier in the season we got what I would call a good draw. We were a bit fortunate to get out of jail with an 89th minute penalty – it would be fair to say they were better than us on the day. They are a very decent outfit. They are well organised and are very tough to beat. We know it will be another extremely hard game for us.”
Finch will be boosted going into Saturday’s game by the return of Aston Robinson from suspension. Dean Thomas is also expected to be available following a dead leg.
Poor Display - 27th February
Neil White has criticised his players for their display in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Holyport. It was Finch’s first defeat in the league since December and only their second in 10 games. During that run White has been quick to praise his players but he admitted he felt a bit let down after last weekend’s defeat.
He said: “We weren’t good enough on the day, we were very disappointing. We were missing a few players but that’s not an excuse, we still should have put in a better performance. We’ve been playing well recently and we’ve been quick to praise the lads when we win, but they have to be ready to take some criticism. Saturday was a game that we didn’t perform to the level we’ve set, now we need to put that right at the weekend.”
Finch travel to Thame United this Saturday and they should have Joe Warner back available, but Dean Thomas’ dead leg has him rated at 50/50.
Thame suffered a shock defeat to basement boys Launton Sports last weekend and have endured a very inconsistent campaign. White admits their form means he doesn’t really know what to expect from them this Saturday. “They’re having a strange season,” he said. “They were a good outfit last year and looked good when they beat us 2-0 earlier in the season. But they lost to Launton last weekend so we’re going there not really knowing what Thame will turn up.”
Target Not Changed - 19th February
Neil White says his target of securing a mid-table finish this season has not changed despite his side sitting in ninth position with 14 games still to go.
Finch, who have won three of their last four games, are enjoying a fine season and are just five points off seventh spot. But White is refusing to get carried away and insists he will be more than happy with a mid-table finish. He said: “We’re in a good position but at the start of the season mid-table was a realistic target and it still is. We didn’t set our sights any higher because at the start we had a squad that was short in numbers. We’re looking much better in that regards now, we’ve got a squad of about 18. But I still think mid-table is what we should be looking at, that will be a big step forward for us.”
Finch travel to Holyport this Saturday, just three weeks after beating them 3-1 at the Memorial Ground.
White will be without a number of players, however, as Joe Warner, Aston Robinson, Dean Thomas, Luke Axton-Hall and Bobby Hogg are all absent due to injury or suspension. He said: “Holyport are a very good side so we know we’re going to find it tough, especially being so depleted. But we will go there and give it our best shot. We played them a few weeks ago and beat them 2-1. We battled really hard that day and we’ll have to do the same again on Saturday.”
Knight Valiant - 12th February
Neil White has spoken in glowing terms about his young Finchampstead hotshot Ben Knight.
The 18-year-old forward netted twice in last weekend’s 3-0 win at Eton Wick, making it three goals in just two starts for Finch. But despite his fine start to life in the first team White admits he will continue to use his young starlet carefully. He said: “We put Ben on from the start last week and he did really well again. On another day he could have had a hat-trick as our other goal came from one of his efforts which came back off the post. He’s been playing for our A-team and banging in the goals for them in the Reading League so I decided to have a look at him. I brought him on for his debut against Englefield Green Rovers a few weeks back and he got us a late equaliser, he looks like a real talent.”
White added: “I will use him sparingly though. We will pick and choose when we play him. He’s still very young and has a lot to learn, as he gets stronger and stronger he will become even more of a threat. We thought the game against Eton Wick was the type of match he would do well in and we were proved right. He’s fast and makes some very good runs off the ball. He just needs to work on his upper body strength a bit.”
This Saturday Finch host bottom club Launton Sports looking to make it three wins from four in the league. But they only managed a 1-1 draw with Sports earlier in the season so White insists their threat will not be taken lightly.
He said: “We can’t just think we will win. We thought that earlier in the season and only got a point thanks to a Kevin Prentice equaliser in the last minute. It’s a game we would hope to get three points from but if we don’t perform we won’t get anything.”
|Desperate For Goal Scorer - 4th February
Manager, Neil White, admits he is desperate to find a 20 goal a season man for his Finchampstead side.
The Finch boss has seen his team control a large number of games this season without taking full advantage. And he admits he looks longingly at some of his neighbours who have some of the league’s top scorers within their ranks. He said: “It would be great to find someone who will score 20 goals a season but they are the hardest players to find. Most of them are being paid some sort of money and we can’t do that here. You do find yourself wishing for a Garry Sargeant or a Jon Bennett because we create an awful lot of chances that they would take advantage of.”
Finch travel to lowly Eton Wick this Saturday looking to halt a disappointing run of form against the league’s bottom clubs. White added: “I don’t know if it’s complacency but we’ve underperformed against the sides at the bottom. We’ve dropped points against Launton Sports, Thame and Bisley so we won’t be taking Eton lightly this weekend.”
Last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Bisley saw Finch come from behind to earn a point thanks to an Aston Robinson strike. The striker should have helped himself to at least a couple more but he missed a pair of gilt-edged chances before being sent off in the second half for dissent.
White said: “We really should have it wrapped up before half-time. Aston and Dean (Thomas) missed half a dozen one-on-ones between them. But, to be fair to Bisley, they really stepped it up after half-time and made it difficult for us. We had to really hang on for the last 15 minutes after the sending-off.”
Strike Partnership Found? - 29th January
Neil White hopes he has found the strike force to fire Finchampstead his side to a top half finish this season. White paired new boy Aston Robinson alongside Dean Thomas for the first time last weekend and both found the net in an impressive 2-1 success against Holyport.
Finch now sit 10th in the table and White says he saw enough last Saturday to suggest he may have found a solution to his side’s lack of goals. “I’m hoping that Aston and Dean can strike up a good partnership,” he said. “Dean works so hard and now he will have a big man to play off. That was their first game together and they did really well. Aston is big and good in the air so Dean will be able to feed off him. The early signs are positive, if they can keep up that sort of form it will be great for the team.”
Finch travel to lowly Bisley Sports this Saturday, the first in a run of three games for Finch against sides in the bottom six.
White admits it is a great opportunity for his side to get more points on the board and firmly establish themselves in the top half. He said: “I try not to look too far ahead but I have glanced at the fixtures. It’s a good chance for us but so far this season we’ve struggled against the sides below us in the league. Our best results have been against those above us so I’m hoping we can turn the corner on Saturday, we need to beat the teams below us.”
Lack Of Goals - 22nd January
Neil White admits he would give his right arm to have a player like Garry Sargeant in his side.
The Finchampstead boss saw Sargeant fire the only goal of the game as Binfield knocked his side out of the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup last weekend. It was another frustrating 90 minutes for Finch who competed strongly but failed to take the chances that came their way.
White said: “Garry did nothing else in the game but he popped up when it mattered with the goal. We haven’t got that type of player, an out and out goalscorer. Garry was in the right place at the right time, that’s what goalscorers do. We really need to start sticking the ball in the net. Defensively we’ve been really good recently but we’re not scoring enough. Aston Robinson is available this week, but whether he’s the answer or not I don’t know.”
This Saturday Finch host Holyport who have won four of their last five games. White could be without skipper Scott Bursill (groin) for the clash as well as Tom Hopper (hamstring). The Finch boss said: “Holyport signed six players recently and I don’t think they’ve been beaten since. They did really well to go over to South Kilburn and win last weekend so we know it’s going to be extremely hard for us.”
WD40? - 15th January
Neil White admits his side may be a bit rusty ahead of this Saturday's County Cup clash with Binfield.
The cold weather of recent weeks has taken its toll on most local clubs but Finch have been hit more than most. The tie with Binfield was originally scheduled for last weekend before falling victim to the big freeze, but Finch have also been unable to train for varying reasons.
White explained: “It’s not been ideal, we haven’t been playing recently but we haven’t been able to train either. We train on Wednesday nights and Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fell on a Wednesday this year so we didn’t train. Then last Wednesday the pitch was frozen so it’s been very difficult. We had the Cookham Dean game a fortnight ago but that’s about it. We might be a little bit off the pace this weekend but hopefully we’ll get a good training session into the boys before then.”
Although bemoaning the cold weather, White did admit that last Saturday’s postponement may have played into his side’s hands ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Moles.
He said: “In a way it might have actually helped us because players like Scott Bursill, Danny Isaiew and Sam White would probably have had to miss out last weekend. Now they’ve had an extra week to rest and they should all be back which is important against a team like Binfield. They are such a strong side and we know we’re going to have to be at our very best if we’re going to beat them.” The boys just want to play now though, you can only do so much in training. Everyone wants to get back out on that pitch.”
McClurg has warned his Binfield side not to underestimate their neighbours who he says will be well drilled under the guidance of Neil White and his assistants. He said: “We played Finch earlier in the season and I felt we probably deserved to win that even though it ended as a draw. They are a good team and I know that Neil and Bobby Langridge will have them up for the game. It will be difficult.”
Delighted For Pal - 8th January
Neil White says he is delighted to see what his pal Steve McClurg is achieving with Binfield.
McClurg, who spent nearly 10 years with Finch, has yet to taste defeat so far in the league with the Moles who sit just three points behind leaders Ascot United with three games in hand. His success has not gone unnoticed by White, who believes Binfield will go on claim the league title. The Finch boss said: “What Steve has done there has been brilliant. He’s a great character to have around and is well respected in the area. He’s certainly got Binfield on the right track and I think they will win the league this year and go on to become the top local side. We know it’s going to be very difficult against them as we’re not at full strength but we’ll still give it a real go.”
Finch will be missing Danny Isaiew, Scott Bursill and Tom Hopper through injury, while new signing Aston Robinson is cup-tied.
Dean Thomas will be back, however, to take the place of Robinson who made his debut in last weekend’s 3-1 Reading Senior Cup win at Cookham Dean. White said: “Aston is a big, strong lad who will get us goals if we provide the service. Danny Isaiew plays with him on a Sunday for Stevie B’s and he had a word with him about coming here. It’s very good to have him on board.”
Reading Senior Cup Action For Finch - 2nd January
Finchampstead are in Reading Senior Cup action tomorrow when they travel to Reading Senior Division outfit Cookham Dean.
Manager Neil White admits he knows little about his side’s opponents but he did see them knock Finch out of the competition two years ago.
He said: “I saw them beat Finch 2-1 in the same competition while Steve McClurg was in charge so I hope history doesn’t repeat itself. But other than that I don’t really know much about them but sides from the Reading League are always very dangerous. We’re going into it expecting a very tough game and we know if we play as badly as we did last weekend we will get nothing from it.”
|This Time ? - 19th December
Neil White is desperate to break his duck against Englefield Green Rovers this Saturday. Since taking over first team duties at Finch he has failed to even get a point from his previous three encounters with the Surrey based side. But White is hoping that will change this Saturday when Rovers make the trip to Finchampstead Park.
He said: “I’ve never got a result against them so it would be great if I could get my first this weekend. I think they beat us 1-0 and 3-2 last year and they beat us 1-0 on the opening day this season. We were very unlucky that day as I felt we were full value for at least point but it wasn’t to be.”
Finch can approach the game in bullish mood having lost just one of their last eight games. White’s men have put in some impressive performances of late and confidence around the club is very high. It left the manager ruing the fact last weekend’s clash at Rayners Lane fell victim to the bad weather that affected the Hellenic League programme.
“It was a shame last weekend was washed out because we’re playing well at the moment and want to play every week,” he said. “We showed on the first day of the season that we can compete against them and we’ve improved a lot since then.”
White has no injury concerns ahead of the game and could hand Dean Thomas a start following his return from injury.
Nine From Three - 11th December
Neil White has set his side a target of nine points from their 'vital’ next three games as they look to go into the New Year in good shape.
White’s side have played just three league matches in the past two months and have dropped a couple of places in the league as the sides around them have picked up points.
But Finch travel to Rayners Lane this Saturday before hosting Englefield Green and Henley Town and White insists those three games will play a big part in shaping their season. He said: “The last couple of months have not been ideal but it could have been worse, results haven’t been too unkind. I think we’ve dropped a couple of places since we haven’t been playing. Rayners Lane have crept up the table and gone above us. We’ve got them on Saturday and that’s the start of a vital three games for us. After that we have Englefield Green and Henley and they are all around us in the league. I will be looking to get maximum points from those games, that’s certainly the aim because it will put us in very good shape going into the new year.”
On this Saturday’s trip to Rayners Lane, White added: “It’s never an easy place to go. It’s hard to get to and you always seem to get stuck in traffic. It will be tough but I’m sure we can get the win.”
Finch may have to do with Tom Hopper for the game, however, after he picked up a chest injury during the 1-0 win against Bracknell Town Reserves last weekend.
Family Outing - 4th December
It's Bracknell Town Reserves for Finch this Saturday and manager Neil White is warning his players not to underestimate the youngsters from Larges Lane.
The Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup clash will see family members lining up against each other as Finch’s Matt Wright (pictured) will take on his younger brother James who plays for Bracknell.
And that is not the only link between the two sides as Finch’s Joe Warner does some coaching at Larges Lane and White admits he has been asking his midfielder what he should expect this Saturday.
The Finch boss said: “I don’t know too much about them but Joe does some coaching at Bracknell and he says they’re full of running and that they will be a real handful.
“It’s a game we should win but we certainly won’t be taking them lightly. They will be fit and up for the battle, it’s one of those games that you can’t be complacent about.
“Matt Wright will be coming up against his younger brother so there’s a bit of family honour at stake there. It should be an exciting game.”
Finch Will Give It A Go - 27th November
Finchampstead travel to Premier Division Kidlington this Saturday as the sole Division One (East) representatives in the SBJ Insurance Challenge Cup second round.
Finch beat Premier Division opponents in the last round when they saw off Harrow Hill and will be hoping for more of the same this time around. Manager Neil White knows it will be another tough test for his side but says his players will go into the game with nothing to lose.
He said: “It’s always good to pit your wits against a Premier League side. We’re not expected to win but we will go there and give it a go. I’m just going to be looking to see how we perform. We can go there and enjoy ourselves.”
Finch go into the game refreshed after their Reading Senior Cup game with Cookham Dean was called off last weekend. They will also be boosted by the signing of Steve Potter from Bedfont. The 28-year-old central midfielder will provide some valuable experience in the centre of the park for White’s team.
The boss said: “We’re really happy to have Steve here. He’s been around a fair bit, playing at a good standard, so he will be a good addition. He will steady the ship and take command of things which is important when you have a young team like we have.”
Team Effort - 20th November
Neil White says the transformation in his side this year is thanks to a collective effort from everyone at the club.
White refused to take all the credit for his side’s current form which has seen them win four of their last fives game and move nicely into a strong mid-table position.
The Finch boss has instead paid tribute to a number of others and insists everyone should take some credit for the turnaround in fortunes.
He said: “It’s a team effort. I suppose I’m the figurehead but Bobby Langridge (right) is great. He’s got so much knowledge and everyone respects his opinion.
“Then there is Jeff Dennis our coach. The guys probably hate how hard he works them but he does an amazing job. And there’s Scott Bursill, the captain, who’s got the lads socialising together.
“There’s just a good feel around the place at the moment. Even after the game, when the players used to just drift away, everyone is now staying for an hour or so to have a drink. It’s good to see.”
|Finch Player Sidelined - 14th November
Finchampstead midfield man Dean Thomas (pictured) is waiting to hear how long he will be sidelined after suffering a badly broken nose last weekend.
Thomas was on the wrong end of a defender’s elbow during the first half of his side’s 2-0 Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup win over Windsor Great Park.
Manager Neil White admits that his side will miss the influence of their nine-goal top scorer. He said: “Dean has got to have surgery today, so we’ll know then how long he’ll be out for, but it’s not looking too good for him. It’s a shame because he has been playing really well. His work rate is fantastic and he has chipped in with a few goals as well. We just hope to have him back as soon as possible.”
Despite that blow, White is hopeful that his squad is now strong enough to absorb the inevitable injuries that are picked up over the course of the season. In addition to Thomas, Sam Wyatt and Matt Wright are both doubts for the trip to Penn & Tylers Green tomorrow.
But with replacements coming into a winning side, White is hopeful of making it five wins on the bounce. He said: “It shows how healthy our squad is now because Dan Dudman came on up front and bagged the two goals. It’s just what you’re looking for, someone to come in and take his chance.
“I’ve always found that Penn & Tylers are a hard side to play against and they have got an added incentive this time because we are only just above them in the table on goal difference. They are a hard, battling side and they’ll know that they can leapfrog us with a win. We’re under no illusions about the challenge but we’re hopeful of getting something from the game.”
The Finch manager conceded that his side found the going tougher than they imagined last weekend against a Great Park side bottom of the East Berks Premier Division. White confessed: “You have got to give them loads of credit because they really battled hard for the whole game. Sometimes you can get carried away with league tables, because on this occasion it didn’t reflect their ability. We realised after 20 minutes that we were in a bit of a game, but then it all changed when Dean Thomas got an elbow across the nose.”
|New Sense Of Belief - 6th November
Neil White says his side’s three match winning streak is down to a new sense of belief that is sweeping the dressing room.
White, saw his side follow up two consecutive 3-0 wins in the league with a thrilling 4-3 success against Harrow Hill in the League Cup last Saturday. It was the manner of that win that delighted the Finch boss the most. He saw his side pegged back from 3-1 to 3-3 but, rather than throw the towel in, they rolled their sleeves up and found a late winner.
White said: “If you take us back about five weeks we wouldn’t have gone on and won that game after they came back to 3-3. But there now seems to be a bit more about us. We don’t give up, we always think that there’s something still in the game for us. There’s quite a bit of belief about the team now. There’s a buzz in the changing room and that transfers out onto the pitch. It’s taken a while to get there but now it’s there it’s very pleasing. We’ve worked hard on that department, we’ve got the lads socialising together and it seems to be paying off.”
Finch will be looking to make it four wins in a row when they host Windsor Great Park this Saturday in the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup. Their opponents are currently bottom of the East Berks Premier Division and have yet to win a game all season but White has warned his side not to underestimate them. He added: “You would hope by looking at their record that there should be something in the game for us. We will certainly be hoping to extend our unbeaten run a bit further but that doesn’t mean we can just turn up and expect to win.”
Clean Sheets For White- 30th October
Neil White has praised his defence after seeing his side record three clean sheets on the spin. White’s men followed up two successive 3-0 victories in the league with an 8-0 drubbing of Hurst in the Reading Senior Cup last Saturday.
Whilst he is delighted to see his forwards amongst the goals, it is the defensive performances that have left the manager smiling. White said: “The most pleasing thing is the three clean sheets in a row. That shows the defenders are doing something right. They looked well drilled at the moment and they know what they are doing."
“That’s very pleasing to see and I have to say that Nick Rumsby (pictured) has been a very good asset in goal. He’s come in and given the defenders a lot of confidence. He encourages them and you can see he gives them a lot of belief.”
Finch will be looking to make it four consecutive clean sheets when they host FTL Futbol Hellenic Premier Division side Harrow Hill in the SBJ Sports Insurance Cup this Saturday.
White said: “I don’t know much about them but I’ve seen that they’re not doing very well at the moment. They’re bottom of their league and haven’t won yet this season so that gives us an opportunity. Our confidence is good at the moment and their’s won’t be sky high and when that happens there’s always a chance of an upset.”
|"Any Chance Of A Game, Please?" - 27th October
There was a very special man amongst the spectators at Finchampstead Park on Saturday when Finchampstead met Hurst in the first round of the Reading Senior Challenge Cup. He was a Finchampstead player 56 years ago and played for Finch's opponents 14 years prior to that, or 70 years ago!.
Bob Watts, a Finchampstead Vice President, played for Hurst in 1938 before playing for Finchampstead when the club was founded in 1952. Bob had a twinkle in his eye at the final whistle but would not say which team he had supported on the day!
Bob is very active for his age and still enjoys his bowls at Wokingham Bowls Club. Despite being a keen lifetime supporter of Reading FC, he rarely misses a Finchampstead match and is always able to recount interesting stories from his playing days. We look forward to his continued support.
|Praise For Axton-Hall - 24th October
Neil White has singled out youngster Luke Axton-Hall (left) for praise following a successful fortnight for his side. The young centre-back was brought into the side against Chinnor on October 11 and starred as Finch romped to a 3-0 success.
"Last weekend against Eton Wick he came off the bench to net the third goal in Finch’s second successive 3-0 win which moved them up to eighth in the table." White said: “Luke has been excellent recently. He’s been at the club for a few years now and we’ve always known he’s had real potential. But he was a bit impetuous when he played last season and got himself in trouble with the referees a couple of time. He seems like he’s matured a lot now though, he’s very focused and wants to do well.”
White added: “We brought him in against Chinnor and he played really well so it was hard to leave him out of the starting 11 on Saturday. But he took it really well which showed how much he’s matured. We brought him on for the last 30 minutes and he was excellent. He also scored a good goal so I was really pleased for him.”
This Saturday Finch take on Hurst in the Reading Senior Cup and will be looking to make it three successive wins.
New Reserve Management Team - 20th October
Finchampstead FC announces the appointment of Jon Laugharne as their new reserve team manager in place of Kevin Arnett, who has left the club. He is assisted by Paul Reynolds.
Jon and Paul are well known faces in local football, Jon having managed several of the club’s youth teams over recent years and Paul as a Finchampstead FC player until family and business commitments cut short his playing career. Several new players were signed by the new management team with some of them making their debut appearance in the 2-2 draw at Wootton Bassett Town on Saturday.
Finchampstead’s two FTL Futbol Hellenic League sides train at Sandhurst Sports Centre, Owlsmoor Road, Sandhurst from 7.15pm on Wednesday evenings. Anyone interested in joining the club should contact the first team manger Neil White on 07887 870400.
|Meffert The Man For Finch - 15th October
Neil White is hoping his new teen striking sensation can help fire his side up the table. White snapped up Alex Meffert from Maidenhead United last week and the 19-year-old German netted a superb solo goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Chinnor to make his debut.
As well as the goal, the Reading University student produced a fine all round display and White feels he may be just the player he needs to lead his front line. He said: “I had an email from him saying he was at Maidenhead United but that they were looking to send him out to another club. So we got him here and he played really well on Saturday. He is very strong, just over six foot and has a very good shot on him. He hasn’t said if he’s going back to Maidenhead, he just wants to play football so hopefully we might have him here for a while."
Meffert should lead the line with Dean Thomas this Saturday as Thomas is fit again and is expected to start against Eton Wick. Another win for Finch would put them nicely into the top half of the table but White is warning his players not to underestimate their opponents. He said: “They’re not the whipping boys that they have been in previous seasons. They look much stronger so we will be expecting a difficult game.”
Crossroads - 9th October
Neil White senses his Finchampstead side is already at a very important crossroads despite the season only being 10 games old. After a fairly solid start, Finch have lost their form and have won just one of their last seven games in Division One East of the FTL Futbol Hellenic League.
Last weekend’s home defeat by previously winless Thame United saw them drop to 13th in the table and White knows they can’t afford to keep losing points against the league’s bottom clubs: “It’s a very sensitive position we’re in now. Two defeats in our next two games and we’re probably in the bottom three, but if we win the next couple then we’re back in mid-table. Our position is on a knife-edge now. I said last week that we seem to raise our game against teams at the top, but we seem to struggle against teams at the bottom. That happened again last Saturday, it was a dreadful defeat against Thame and I can’t put my finger on why it’s happening."
“We’ve drawn against three of the top four but we’ve failed to beat the bottom two. If we want to get to where we want to be this season we have to start picking up wins against the teams below us.”
Finch make the trip to mid-table Chinnor this Saturday and White is hoping to keep up a strong run of form against the Oxfordshire based club.
White said: “Chinnor will not be easy at all. They’ve had a decent start and have already held Ascot to a draw this season. But we took six points off them last season so we know we can give them a game. I’m sure they will fancy their chances after seeing our recent results, but if we work hard we can get something from the game.”
Pick Up Points - 2nd October
"Finch" boss Neil White says his team must start picking up points against the teams around them in the league if they want to start moving up the table.
Finchampstead have enjoyed a fairly decent start to the season but they have struggled to turn their impressive performances into wins. White’s men have lost only three times in the league but have won just once, drawing their remaining five games. Now the manager wants his side to kick on and start collecting maximum points.
He said: “The problem we have to overcome at the moment is that when we play against teams who are below or around us in the league we don’t seem to perform. Against the likes of Binfield and Wokingham we seem to do fine, but against the lower sides we’re a bit blase. We need to focus a bit more and I will be telling the lads that this week. It’s been a while since we last got three points, we’ve drawn a lot of games recently and we need to change that on Saturday.”
Thame United travel to Finch this weekend following a poor start to the season which has seen them slump to second from bottom of the league.
White added: “They haven’t had the best of starts considering what they did last season. These are games that we need to win – you need to take points off everyone who is below you.”
Something For The Weekend? - 25th September
Neil White will be trying out something new this weekend as he looks to get the spark back into his side. White’s men started the season in fine style but have gone off the boil in recent weeks, despite only losing one of their last seven league games.
So the Finch boss will be changing things round for this Saturday’s trip to Prestwood in the SBJ Insurance Brokers League Challenge Cup in the hope that it will breathe new life into his team.
He said: “The thing with the League Cup is that it’s always a Premier Division side that wins it so it gives me a chance to try out some things. I will change my approach for this game. I want to try something a bit different to see if I can unearth some sort of gem. We started the season well but I feel that we’ve lost our spark a bit and I want to try to get that back. So I will use this weekend’s game to look at some players in different positions. I just want to shake things up a bit.”
White will be boosted by the news that striker Carl Barrie (pictured) could make his first appearance since the opening game of the season at Englefield Green Rovers when he picked up a groin injury. Scott Bursill, however, will miss the trip.
|Killer Touch Sought - 12th September
Finchampstead boss Neil White (pictured) is looking for his side to start turning draws into wins as they continue to impress this season.
White’s men made it five games unbeaten last weekend with a 2-2 draw at Wokingham and Emmbrook, but once again they let a lead slip and had to settle for a point.
They have won just once this season despite their encouraging start and the manager has urged his side to be more ruthless. He said: “We’ve started well and it’s great to be on a decent unbeaten run but we’re not really better off in terms of points than we were at this stage last season. I feel we’ve improved lots on last year but our points tally doesn’t really show that because we keep drawing games.
“We’re working so hard but not killing teams off. We just need to find that killer touch in front of goal and also start holding on to our leads.”
White’s men play their first home game of the season this Saturday when they welcome new boys in the FTL Futbol Hellenic League, South Kilburn, to Finchampstead Park.
The Finch boss admits it will be nice to sample home comforts again after seven straight games away from home, but he is not expecting an easy ride against the league’s newcomers. He said: “I was shocked to see their result last weekend. They beat Kintbury Rangers 5-0 so must have something about them, so we will have to really be at our best. Once again we’re down to the bare bones so it’s not going to be easy.”
Sponsorship Link - 3rd August
Finchampstead Football Club, members of FTL Futbol Hellenic One East, are pleased to announce a sponsorship link-up with Finchampstead Community Sports for the 2008- 2009 season.
With this tie-in comes a commitment to buy one of the club’s popular 'Flying Banners' that are on display every match day throughout the season at all the club’s youth and senior home matches. In addition Finchampstead Community Sports will sponsor several FTL Futbol Hellenic Football League Division One East matches during the season. Finchampstead Community Sports is run by Glenn Rose, the club’s Community Officer, and is responsible for providing multi-sports and football coaching in regular weekly sessions to over 180 boys and girls. These sessions are aimed almost exclusively at nursery and primary school children aged from 2½ to 11 years of age.
These hugely popular sessions operated by Finchampstead Community Sports include the unique Sports Tots programmes run for Under 3 and 4 year olds, the highly successful Soccer Schools for Under 5s and 6s, advanced Soccer Skills sessions, and midweek multi-sports sessions for children aged from 4 to 8 years of age. In the past two years all money collected by Finchampstead Community Sports has gone to either charity or community based projects, and this new commitment takes the total given beyond £20,000. The main beneficiaries over the past two years have been Leonard Cheshire Disability and various local Primary Schools in order to enable them to purchase sports and play equipment.
Club Awards & Pre-Season Update - 14th July
The following senior players received awards at a glittering Annual Presentation Day that was the local football equivalent of the Oscars – with a magnificently sound tracked DVD produced showing clips from several of last season’s youth and senior matches. The senior players to win awards were:
First Team Manager’s Player of the Season Matt Wright
Players’ Player of the Season Scott Bursill (left)
Leading Goal Scorer Dean Thomas
Reserve Team Manager’s Player of the Year Lewis Frostick
Players’ Player of the Year Richard Evans
Leading Goal Scorer Lewis Frostick
'A' Team Manager’s Player Andre Kelly
Players’ Player David Blackmore
Leading Goal Scorer James Osborn
Young Player of the Year Junior Arquimbau
Supporters’ Player of the Year Scott Bursill
Clubman of the Year Harry Levey (right)
The club has been back in training for the 2008/09 season for two weeks and the well attended sessions under head coach Jeff Dennis have been tough but varied as the players are brought back to peak fitness in readiness for the start of the season on August 16th. With the exception of Ross Knight who has left the club, and Chris White who is still injured, all of last season’s first team squad have now re-signed for the new season, and the club has registered several other new players to boost its three senior sides.
The first team’s pre-season matches get under way at Chobham (July 17th), followed by Woodley Town (July 19th), Highmoor Ibis (August 2nd), Westfield (August7th), Wraysbury (August 9th). The reserve and A teams also have a busy pre-season programme arranged and this gets under way on July 15th when the reserves travel to Chobham.
Anyone interested in joining the club’s playing strength should contact first team manager Neil White on 07887 870400 who will be pleased to discuss the playing and training opportunities.
Finchampstead Prepare for New Season - 3rd July
With two training sessions under their belt, Finchampstead Football Club head coach Jeff Dennis and first team manager Neil White are delighted with the turn out of both old and new players. Almost the entire first team squad from last season has now been registered with the club for the 2008-2009 season with club captain Scott Bursill the first to sign up.
Armed with the very latest training equipment, Jeff Dennis has designed a special training regime to get the players in peak condition before the commencement of the pre-season matches on Saturday, July 19th and the first FTL Futbol Hellenic League match in the midweek commencing 11th August. Every player is provided with a heart monitor so that their fitness progress can be monitored and charted by Jeff. Several of last season’s youth team that competed successfully in the Reading Football League will be progressing through to the reserve team and hopefully challenging for a first team squad place for the coming season, evidence of the success of the club’s player development programme. However the club is always looking to strengthen its three senior sides, so any players wishing to join the club should contact first team manager Neil White on 07887 870400 who will be pleased to discuss the training and playing details.
Finchampstead Football Club has unrivalled facilities, with superb playing surfaces and clubhouse sport and social facilities. It provides football for all age groups, starting from the Soccer Tots Play Scheme through to teams ranging from Under 7’s through to Under 18’s competing in the East Berkshire Youth League and North East Hampshire Youth League. Players can then progress through into the three senior sides competing in the FTL FUTBOL Hellenic League and Reading Football League. Each team is managed by FA qualified coaches to ensure that the best possible coaching is available to our players.
The club has a number of promotional opportunities for the 2008/09 season. More details can be obtained from the club’s website www.finchampsteadfc.co.uk or by calling the club’s president Richard Whitchurch-Bennett on 07740 283210 to discuss these.
Finch Pre-Season News - 23rd June
FTL Futbol Hellenic One East Finchampstead return to pre-season training on Tuesday, July 1st, and have eight friendly matches arranged so far in preparation for the start of the 2008/09 season on Monday 11th August.
Finchampstead Football Club has unrivalled facilities, with superb playing surfaces and clubhouse sport and social facilities. It provides football for all age groups, starting from the Soccer Tots Play Scheme through to teams ranging from Under 7’s through to Under 18’s competing in the East Berkshire Youth League and North East Hampshire Youth League. Players can then progress through into the three senior sides competing in the FTL Futbol Hellenic Football League and Reading Football League. Each team is managed by FA qualified coaches to ensure that the best possible coaching is available to our players. Any players wishing to join the club’s three senior sides should contact the first team manager Neil White on 07887 870400 who will be pleased to discuss the training and playing details.
At the club’s Award Presentation Day for the 2007/08 season, Harry Levey won the prestigious Clubman of the Year award. The first team players to win awards were Matthew Wright (Managers Player of the Year), club captain Scott Bursill (Players Player of the Year) and Dean Thomas (Leading Goalscorer). The reserve team award winners were Lewis Frostick (Managers Player of the Year & Leading Goalscorer) and Richard Evans (Players Player of the Year). The A team (Under 20’s) awards went to Andre Kelly (Managers Player of the Year), David Blackmore (Players Player of the Year) and James Osborn (Leading Goalscorer). Junior Arquimbau won the Young Player of the Year award.
The club has a number of promotional opportunities for the 2008/09 season. More details can be obtained from the club’s website www.finchampsteadfc.co.uk or by calling the club’s president Richard Whitchurch-Bennett on 07740 283210 to discuss these.