Demotion No Problem - 4 June
James Rusby believes there is no reason why Wokingham & Emmbrook’s demotion from the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier Division should be seen as a hindrance. Demotion was a circumstance of facilities not performance on the field of play.
The defender-turned-midfielder was the Sumas match winner at Madejski Stadium last Tuesday night, firing home from 15 yards in the 78th minute with his weaker left foot to help record a 2-1 victory over Marlow United which saw the side successfully defend the Reading Senior Cup.
The club, who also received the Premier Division Respect & Fair Play Award at the Hellenic League dinner held at the Kassam Stadium on Friday night, now preparing for a return to Lowther Road and life in Hellenic Division 1 East and Rusby is of the opinion Wokingham & Emmbrook can go on and continue to enjoy occasions like those experienced last week.
He said: “There is a lot going on at the club and Roger Herridge is moving on as well. Dan Bateman is going to be the new manager along with Matt Eggleston and we are going to be in a lower division as well, but this is a great club and I think we can kick on and get back up. I have worked with Dan (Bateman) as he has been assistant manager for a good few years; he is a great guy who I believe can kick us on and take us to wherever he wants. The club is a really good one, it is really close knit and I think we can kick on and go further in the future.”
He added: “I’m really enjoying it here. The lads are great, those behind the scenes are great – it is just a brilliant club to play for. It is a shame we have had to go down, but hopefully we have taken one step back to take two forward.”
The former Basingstoke Town and Henley Town defender went on to say, despite the odd injury over the campaign, he was relatively happy with the form he produced during 2012/13. Last season also saw Rusby pushed up from his usual back four duties to a role in midfield, a move which resulted in him netting his first goal at the home of Reading FC in three attempts. “I had a couple of niggling injuries, but I would like to think I had quite a good season,” he said. “I’m usually a defender but I was pushed up into midfield, where I settled in well. I really like it, I played there when I was younger but naturally moved back into defence. I do think I can play the role and do really like it when I get the chance. It just fell to me (the ball) on my left foot so I hit it, got some wellie behind it and it went in. I’m so happy for the boys. I’m not naturally left footed, but I can use it. It fell to me on that one so I tried to get everything behind it really, it was on target and it went in. I’ve played here about three times before (Madejski Stadium) but never scored, as I’m naturally a defender, but it was wicked for it to fall to me and score the winner.”
Summing up the Sumas’ performance on Tuesday 28 May , Rusby added: “It was a slow start as we were playing a different formation and it took a bit of time to get into it. But when we settled down and moved back into the formation we usually play I thought we looked better on the ball and were the better team to be honest. We grew and grew and went on to win the cup.”