The kids are alright

Rushden have, perhaps, the youngest team in next season’s Blue Square Premier. With just five players in the current squad over 25 years of age, the average age of the current squad is a staggering 22 years old. Our longest-serving player is Lee Tomlin (20).

Rushden and Diamonds F.C.
Rushden and Diamonds F.C.

 

Jack Higgins – 17 years old

Joe Day – 18 years old.

Lewis Hilliard – 18 years old

Nick McNamara – 19 years old.

Jake Beecroft – 19 years old.

Sam Smith – 19 years old.

Kurt Robinson – 19 years old.

Jamie McGuinness – 19 years old.

James Reid – 19 years old.

Lee Tomlin – 20 years old.

Max Porter – 22 years old.

Michael Corcoran – 21 years old.

Dale Roberts – 22 years old.

Curtis Osano – 22 years old.

—————————-25 years old—————————————

Aaron O’Connor – 25 years old

Matt Pattison – 25 years old.

Craig Farrell – 26 years old.

Neil Cousins – 27 years old.

Simon Downer – 28 years old.

Rob Wolleaston – 29 years old.

Jamie Stuart – 33 years old.

While the lack of experience and physical presense could be a problem against teams like Histon, of course there are benefits to having a youthful squad. These players are raw, hungry for action and eager to impress. Many of them are neat footballers, with great prospects for the future. Six of the players are products of our youth set-up, and will have been at the squad for several years – hopefully, they, even Kettering-supporting Sam Smith, will be playing for the shirt, for the badge, for the club that has given them a chance to make it, however far down the pyramid, in the football industry. If JE can keep a hold of the main spine of this squad, and he hangs around for a bit, we have a squad with the potential of maturing into a very fine side.

While it is hard to believe it when they are out there on the pitch, some of these players are just kids. If Sam Smith misses a good chance, or James Reid, Nick McNamara or Kurt Robinson shy away from a tackle, it is vital to remember – in America they would not be served alchohol! Encouragement rather than criticism is needed. We have a very young squad, with some very talented players, but because of their age our squad is very fragile. When you are young you take everything to heart, and confidence can fluctuate. The applause given to Lewis Hilliard in his league debut last season (against Kettering) has to be repeated for each player. Confidence is key at that age.

The old players (and, yes, I am aware that it is strange to label men in their mid-20s as “old”!) will be the counterbalance to the squad’s youthful sporadic performences – they will have to be consistent, calm, patient… let me just dig out Macbeth and copy out the qualities of a king… they must have “justice, verity, temperance, stableness”. The metaphor isn’t the strongest, admitedly, but my point should be clear – these experienced players will have to have excellent seasons to cancel out the youthful inconsistence. Wolly needs to continue the good form he showed at the end of last season (and not a return to the Hill-era performences he put in). Simon Downer will have to back up JE’s claim that he is one of the best defenders at this level. O’Connor, Farrell and Cousins will need to score regularly between them to lift some of the pressure off Tomlin and Smith.  Stuart will have to somehow fill the gap that Hope left last season.

I have every bit of faith in this squad, and, as we are finally getting a look at JE’s finished squad (excluding perhaps one or two new faces to come in in the next few weeks), I’m beginning to feel a bit confident about the new season; not about a play-off finish, or maybe not even about a long cup run (although it would be nice to reach the FA Cup 3rd round agin!), but about a squad that, finally, might give its all and reflect the passion and commitment of the fans.

Please rate and comment.

7 Responses to The kids are alright

  1. Ted says:

    “You never win anything with kids” Now, who was it that said that?

  2. Ted says:

    It was Alan Hansen about Man Utd. United famously went on to win the double with those ‘kids’. Mind you, Diamonds are no Man Utd.

  3. Formic says:

    Another excellent article ID. Have you thought about offering your services to the Programme – they are always looking out for people to write articles, and you seem to have real talent. I’m sure you could do a good one about supporting the team from afar, as well as your trips to Nene Park.

    With Chris Hope going the average has come down, but with my pedantic hat on there are a couple of errors. Higgins is still 17, Hilliard only 18 so that brings it down more (although they won’t be in the default 16), but Rob Wolleaston is 29 and Max Porter 22, which makes the average just over 22 (according to Excel anyway !).

    If we assume those with squad numbers 1-11 are the default starting 11 we’ll have an average of just under 24.

    • RDFC Fans Blog says:

      Thanks for the corrections, I’ve updated them.

      I’ll look into writing for the programme, wouldn’t be a bad idea. Thanks🙂

      • Diamond_Boy_Bob says:

        I agree, having read a few of the articles you have put up on here i think it would be a great idea for you to involve yourself in the writing of some fan views for the club. You seem to show honest and unbiased views and also seem to be able to write with your head as oppose to your heart and not allow your clear love for the club cloud your judgment. Keep it up, its good to see

  4. Ted says:

    I’m willing to step in Fomic if Irish’s not interested.I believe I could write some very thought provoking stuff for the programme.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: