Beard believes table does lie for his budding young team

SCFL Premier Division: Loxwood, Manager Mark Beard. Pic Steve Robards  SR1608278  12-03-16 SUS-160315-135017001
SCFL Premier Division: Loxwood, Manager Mark Beard. Pic Steve Robards SR1608278 12-03-16 SUS-160315-135017001

Mark Beard believes consistency will be the key at Loxwood as they look to hit the ground running next season.

The Magpies’ hopes of a top-four finish were dashed as they lost 2-0 at Newhaven in their season finale on Saturday.

They ended up in eighth place in their second-ever season in the top flight and Beard’s first season in charge.

The club have developed an accomplished youth set-up in which players have been more and more integrated in the first team this season.

Because of that and what it means for the future, the former Millwall player and Crawley Town youth team boss believes the season has been a resounding successes.

He said: “What I am pleased about is that I do not think there is any team in the league that can play two different teams in a week (youth against Eastbourne United and senior players against Newhaven) and still compete with the best teams in the league.

“I am buzzing. It’s been a great season and they say league position doesn’t lie, but in our case it does a little bit.

“Considering we literally had ten under-18 players that have been regularly starting or being involved in the first team.

“That is only going to help next season. We will be in a much stronger position than last year. I didn’t even know who was staying or leaving in pre-season last year. Next year we will be a lot stronger, we plan to come in and do a little bit before pre-season, so we can stay on top of it.

“I will bring in maybe one or two, but I do not need many players – one thing I will be looking for is consistency.

“We will always look to improve and will look to involve the youngsters more week-in week-out. Not one player has said they want to leave. Everyone is happy and it’s a really happy camp.”

On Saturday, Newhaven’s star striker Lee Robinson took his tally to 43 as he opened the scoring on 18 minutes, despite a clear handball in the 
build-up. The hosts made the game safe late on with Adam Kneller’s free-kick which secured the Dockers third place.

Beard said: “The ref completely ruined the game from start to finish. He either did not see anything or what he did see was wrong.

“They had the wind in the first half and second half it was pretty much all us, but they did have a couple of counters they could have scored from as well.”

Loxwood: Smith, Courtney (Summerfield 65), French, Scally, Holvey, Swaine (Woon 60), Napper, Cave, Wood, (Beard 66) Moore, Pitcher.

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