Kimberley Miners Welfare joint-manager Martin Lench says he’s been encouraged by his side’s start to the new East Midlands League Counties season.
A 4-0 opening day win over Ellistown & Ibstock was followed by a 0-0 draw at Aylestone Park, but last weekend saw the Miners’ first league defeat of the campaign at Barrow.
Despite that setback, Lench and his fellow manager Ian Deakin have been happy with their players’ attitude and efforts so far.
Lench said: “We got off to a perfect start on the opening day and then should really have won at Aylestone Park.
“They had a man sent off in the first-half and we then saw a penalty saved with five minutes to go. Those need to go in really because the two extra points can prove crucial later on.
“Saturday wasn’t our day but we had a lot of key players missing due to things like holidays and lacked that bit of quality to do any major damage.”
Deakin has been able to use his extensive contacts at the higher levels of the game to secure some impressive signings for Kimberley, including the likes of defender Chris Shaw, striker Jarrod Westcarr and winger Greg Simmons.
Lench’s knowledge of local football and the level at which Kimberley play has in turn been crucial to the pair working well together.
He said: “We complement each other really well, and we’re great mates off the pitch too which helps a lot as there are no punches pulled when we need to discuss things. We just tell it how it is.
“Deaks has brought a real professionalism to the club and the players love and respect that and have responded to it really well. Everyone is pulling in the same direction which is important as we move forward.”
Kimberley travel to Gedling Miners Welfare on Saturday before a home game with Stapenhill a week later and a local derby with Radford on Bank Holiday Monday.
Also on the horizon is an FA Vase tie with Graham St Prims, with Lench keen to build some momentum early in the campaign.
He added: “This is such an important time of the season as a good start boosts morale and to get some momentum going would be great.
“I’m very keen to see us get nine points from the next three games which I believe is achievable. If we can come out of the other side of this run of games with plenty of points then it’ll give us a great platform to kick on and maintain the form.
“Then to get a run going in the FA Vase would be fantastic too.
“Some of our lads haven’t played together before so it’s inevitably taking time for everyone to gel together, but some good lads have come in and there is plenty of strength in depth so we’re positive about our chances.”