HELLENIC LEAGUE: Collier keen to get Shrivvy tenure off and running

Sam Collier is the new manager of Shrivenham

Sam Collier is the new manager of Shrivenham

First published in Sport

SAM Collier is keen to get his managerial career up and running when he takes his Shrivenham side to Brimscombe and Thrupp tonight in the last eight of the Hellenic Floodlit Cup.

The player-manager was denied that opportunity on Saturday when their clash with Binfield was called off at the 11th hour by match referee Oliver Denne, with Collier describing the postponement as a farce.

“We had a local referee come and look at the pitch at 11am on Saturday and he said it was fine to play,” Collier said.

“Then, the match referee comes in, with both teams ready to play, and, after our groundsman Nick Ash had done a fantastic job to get it ready, including getting the roller on the pitch, decides that it was dangerous - it was a farce.

“Once the referee had made his mind up, I took the players out on to the pitch and did a training session - that’s how dangerous it was.”

With so many games called off during January and February, Shrivenham chairman Robb Forty says that the league are asking clubs to do all they can to get games played and fears that they may face sanctions following this postponement.

“We lost money because the game was called off,” Forty said. “Because the referee turned up we had to pay half his fee.

“We had got everything ready, Nick had done a fantastic job is getting the pitch prepared and now we could be fined by the league.”

With another match to fit into their already busy schedule, Collier is now focusing in getting his career off to a winning start having been given the reins on a permanent basis by the club’s hierarchy last week.

“It would have been nice to play on Saturday,” Collier said. “But we just have to hope that the game at Brimscombe goes ahead.

“They are a few places above in the league, but we are raring to go after the disappointment of Saturday.”

With no injury worries in the squad, Collier, who is likely to return after being cup-tied for the 1-0 defeat to Wantage Town, will be without Dan Drewett and Craig Bowden for the trip to the Stroud Valleys.

Meanwhile, Chippenham Town will be looking to build on their 2-1 success over Burham when they visit Arseley in the Southern League Premier Division.

Second-placed Cirencester will be aiming to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at Division One South and West leaders Merthyr Town when they host Clevedon Town.

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