Sat, 29 Aug 2020
THATCHAM Town manager Jamie Leacock has reassured fans that the club is heading in the right direction.
Leacock replaced Danny Robinson as the Kingfishers boss in May, but his time in charge and his preparation for the new Southern League Division 1 South campaign have been severely hampered by the coronavirus outbreak.
Robinson took several players with him to Hungerford Town, and now only Michael Miller remains from last season’s squad.
But Leacock has decided to go with younger, more local players and he is pleased with the way things are progressing.
He said: “Danny was incredibly successful here and we are not trying to compare ourselves to that – if we can do half as well as he did then we will be doing well.
“We knew from the start that it would be about rebuilding the team and the club has a view about the direction it wants to go by having a few more younger players.
“We have had to start from scratch, but we are happy with the progress we have made.
“The players are buying into what we are doing and I felt it was important to stamp my style of play on the club.
“The squad is taking shape and we are not far off now.
“I think we could do with one or two more players, but we will probably operate with a tightknit squad of about 18 or 19 players.”
Fans were allowed to attend matches for the first time since lockdown on Saturday.
And although Thatcham lost 2-1 at home to Ashford Town, Leacock hopes that supporters saw enough to give them optimism for the new campaign.
The coronavirus outbreak left former Hungerford coach Leacock in an unenviable position once he joined the club.
He said: “I joined in May and normally after about four weeks I would be contacting players to try and get them to come to the club.
“But those conversations didn’t take place because of lockdown and because we didn’t know when the season would start.
“It has been frustrating, but perhaps the delay has given us more time to prepare and see how we would go about rebuilding the team.”