Budleigh manager speaks about opening night win for the Robins

PUBLISHED: 13:36 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 20 August 2019

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Budleigh boss Rick Withers was full of praise for his young side after their opening night 3-0 win over Witheridge.

The Robins boss said: "We played exceptionally well in the first half and then weathered the storm we knew would come early in the second half and saw the game out well."

He added: "That said, I was concerned that we began to tire in the last 20, but that was probably because we are a young side and I also think we were a game light in pre-season. I would like us to be fitter and that, together with match fitness, is something we can, and will, both work on and improve."

He continued: "Witheridge played as we thought they would. Given our young squad, and we are not the biggest in physical terms, I do think they figured they could bully us, but that only works if you can control the ball, which is something we did superbly throughout a very impressive first half.

"What I really enjoyed was that we were hungry to get on the ball and keep it away from the opposition and, when you do that, you control games, which is just what we did on Friday night."

When asked what is the difference between this year and the trials and tribulations of last season, Withers responded: "We are in a different league and, while we have retained the spine of last season's team we have made some good additions and we are hopeful that the corner has been turned and we can begin to get the club back on the sort of footing - playing wise - it was on a few seasons back.

"There really is no reason why we cannot get back to that and much, if not all, of the hard work to achieve that, has to be done out on the pitch by the players."

He continued: "Having a bigger squad is key for that helps create competition for places.

"We are fortunate in that a number of the club's Under-16 players have continued to develop and become useful senior footballers, which augers well for our future."

Budleigh were in action last night (Tuesday) when they visited Topsham Town and, speaking before that game, Withers said: "It's difficult to judge how strong - or weak - teams are going to be at this early stage so the key for us is to concentrate on making sure we play the way we want to play.

"Friday night was a great start and, as long as the players keep up the hard work then we will get our just rewards."

Budleigh are back in action on Tuesday night (August 20) when they make the short trip to Topsham Town (6.30pm).

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