After a well-earned week off, the Ravens are all set to restart their North West Counties League season with a trip to the Stockport Sports Village tomorrow to take on Stockport Town.
The break in fixtures probably came at a good time for the club after a run of tough games resulted in back-to-back defeats at West Didsbury and Abbey Hey, but ultimately culminated in the team earning some redemption for those disappointing results with a convincing win at Cammel Laird.
Going into the break with a victory has given everyone a lift and a big boost in confidence. However, Chris and Lee have been working the team extremely hard over the last two weeks to ensure the players hit the ground running on Saturday.
Our Opponents this Week
The Lions are one of the youngest clubs in the NWCFL, being founded as recently as 2014 and they were accepted into the league in 2015. In their first season they reached the play offs and have been a consistent top half club since.
Stockport Town’s start to the season has been similar to ours in terms of consistency and they sit 16th in the table on seven points.
A further similarity between the two clubs is that The Lions also play on an artificial surface at the multi-facility Stockport Sports Village.
One additional link between us and Stockport Town is on the management side. Our own Assistant Manager, Lee Dixon and Town’s Manager, Matt Jansen were once teammates at Carlisle United back in their late teenage years (watch out for a separate story on this in the coming days).
FC Isle of Man Team News
A week without games has given the Ravens some time to get some of the previously wounded back into the fold. Chris Bass jr, Ryan Burns and Michael Williams have all returned to training after missing the Cammel Laird game. In addition, veteran defender, Sean Quaye is available for selection following his recent suspension.
Manager, Chris Bass, has shown great faith in his younger players of late and teenagers Charlie Higgins and Nathan Cardy have both performed well in recent matches and of course Sam Baines continues to excel in the midfield. The 18-year-old is one of only two players (GK, Dean Kearns being the other) to have started every game so far and the only thing that’s missing from Sam’s superb start to the season is a goal or two.
On the goal front Luke Murray continues to excel and he leads the Ravens goal scoring charts on five and will certainly be looking to add to his tally this weekend.