HELLENIC LEAGUE: Collier claims there's no pressure on Shrivvy ahead of derby clash

Shrivenham boss Sam Collier

Shrivenham boss Sam Collier

First published in Sport Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

SAM Collier says that the pressure is off him as he prepares for his first derby match as a manager.

The Shrivenham player-boss takes his side to Highworth Town looking to upset the odds in Hellenic League Premier Division.

And while he admits that he will have to do things slightly differently, Collier isn’t going to let the mind games get to him after Worthians boss John Fisher described Shrivvy as ‘the herberts up the road’ in Friday’s Advertiser.

“I didn’t see that, but someone at the club told me,” Collier said. “I like Fish so I’ve got no problem with what he said.

“This is my first derby as a manager and I’m looking forward to it, yes, we probably need to do a few things differently but we have prepared properly.

“Most of the players know each other and they will want to be able to gloat a little after the match.

“But as Highworth are a top 10 team, there isn’t much pressure on us, no-one expects us to win.”

Collier says, barring himself, that he will have a fully-fit squad to chose from when they arrive at the Elms for a high-noon showdown.

“I’ve got a bit of a sore groin so I’m not sure if I’ll play any part,” said Collier. “But for the first time since I’ve been in charge I’ve got everyone else available.

“We have got Josh (Fowler) and Robbo (Steve Robertson) scoring a few goals and hopefully they can do it again on Monday.”

Shrivenham were not in action on Saturday but Collier had the players in for training, while the Worthians suffered a 1-0 defeat at Binfield following a strike from Jemel Johnson.

But Fisher is more upset with the fact that the league have both his and the club’s reserves playing on both dates of the Easter weekend.

“It is a nonsense,” he said. “The reserves until Saturday had played on a Saturday for three weeks.

“Now over the Easter weekend the Hellenic League have them play on both days - it’s pathetic.

“They were supposed to be playing at Fairford on Monday, but now the league have told them they have to go all the way to Ascot for a cup semi-final.

“I’m short on numbers, but because they have a semi-final I’ve got to leave their best players alone so that they have a chance of winning.”

The Worthians have added Richard Saunders to the growing number of absentees after he trapped his finger in the a circular saw and required an operation.

But Fisher knows that his side will be in for a tricky test from their ‘noisy neighbours’.

“They will always be our noisy neighbours, trying to aspire to be Highworth,” he joked.

“But they have improved lately so it is going to be a tough game - I’m just glad it is at our place and not away.”

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