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12/11/2020 6:03 pm  #1

Cornelius Nwadialor Speaks about the season so far

From the Tooting and Mitcham website

“We caught up with co-manager Cornelius to discuss the season so far, the teams around the top of the table and how the new players have got on so far.

The abrupt break in the season came at a time where the team was performing very well. What do you think clicked?

I feel with us clicking, I think that comes from the hard work we did in pre-season. I think the problem was with the first 2 or 3 games, we had a lot of players out, and others that registrations that hadn’t come through as well as some international clearance that we also had to wait for. The first 2 games we were missing around 9 players, so we knew that once the 9 players had their paperwork come through, we knew we would start gelling as a team.

We have seen several new faces this season, with some already becoming fan favourites. How pleased are you and Ashley with the way they have started?

We have been very fortunate to be fair, one of two came through the trial period where we had players trialling for at least 4 to 5 weeks. Some of them hadn’t played at this level so was really good to see them work really hard and they were able to get into the team. Mark Walters was the stand out player from our trials, he played in Scotland at a good level so was quite easy for him to step in and find his feet. A few of the other new faces were players that had already played at this level as well as at a higher level, so Gary Ross is someone that has played at this level for years now and has the experience, so he was a real plus to come in. Jake Rose is another player that has played at pro level and in and around step 3 and 4, he was a really good coup bringing him in and he has added to the quality as well as a few others that have come in and done really well.

The top of the table is very tight already, what have you made of the start of the league?

For me and Ash, we always knew for the season for every team it was going to be up and down. As we are in a pandemic right now, it really depends on how every team can handle it due to the environment everyone’s camps are going to be in, so will be very difficult. We will see players isolating at random times and a lot of disruptions as well. For us, we just think that with the staff, the club and the volunteers having worked so hard, it has made it easier for us to train and have some sort of mental focus. At the end of the day, the whole season it will be up and down. There will be a few teams that everyone will have as their favourites and will still have a lot of quality so will be in and around the top, but I feel there will be a few shocks and it will go all the way to the wire. There will be those 2 or 3 teams we all know that will be up there, but feel 1 or 2 teams that have worked hard, that probably don’t have a budget but have brought in players that just want to play and work hard, which is always the easier way for any manager.

Danny Williams has really stepped up, filling the void of scoring goals with the departure of Danny Bassett and Hady Ghandour. How much of an important signing has Danny been since his arrival?

Danny Williams is a player we brought in last year to help with the promotion push, and as you can see with his first game, he came and scored, and kept on scoring. He was one of the players we really wanted to keep this season as we knew he would play a key part in our promotion push. As you know, we have lost a lot of players move to step 2, which to us is a ‘pro and con’ as we develop players and have a plan for every player that we have at the club. The plan is to do well for Tooting, but at the same time doing well for this club will open doors for them, which has always been the plan for any player we have brought in. As a coach, as well as the rest of our coaching staff, it is what we do when we come to work to develop players and to get 3 points, and if we are able to achieve both, it is happy days for us. From our ‘starting 11’ from last season, we have had several players go off to play step 2 and we still have conference clubs hovering around and looking at the quality that we have at the club. We know that is going to happen from now all the way to the end of the season, it is our job to always make sure we have players waiting to step up if anyone does leave, or their performance drops down, or injuries of course. With Danny Williams is always going to be difficult for someone to do what they did the previous year, and rekindle that same form. He had an outstanding time at Chalfont scoring loads of goals, then coming to a club that was fighting for promotion and knowing that teams will have 11 men behind the ball, which will be harder for him to score, yet he is still scoring. This season was a bit difficult for him to start off with, as his papers hadn’t come through and had some problems with his international clearance, but still had to get it sorted the right way. He ended up missing a very important game for the club, but we got him in for the second game but he lacked match sharpness. We knew once he got playing he would score goals, he looks very confident now and we believe he will keep fit during the lockdown and will be raring to go when we come back “


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