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News Archive > General > Bodmin boss concerned after ‘nightmare’ week

Bodmin boss concerned after ‘nightmare’ week

By Tom Howe 30th December 2020

Bodmin boss concerned after ‘nightmare’ week
Bodmin Town´s Priory Park has bore the brunt of a consistent spell of poor weather conditions

Bodmin Town manager Darren Gilbert says a mixture of poor weather conditions and covid restrictions are having a ‘nightmare’ effect on grassroots football.

Rather than playing traditional Boxing Day and Bank Holiday fixtures over the Christmas period, Bodmin’s squad were busy training alone and away from the team’s home at Priory Park, which is waterlogged following the inclement weather of recent weeks.

Town have seen home ties against Mousehole and Camelford called off this month, with their Boxing Day visit to Dobwalls also falling foul of the conditions. With Priory unusable and indoor venues prohibited due to covid restrictions, the club have had to do things differently in an attempt to maintain momentum. 

In essence, the team are back into something of a lockdown mode, with club coach Gary Jeffery setting Bodmin’s players a range of challenges to remain active ahead of a return to match action.

“It is tough because we can’t get anywhere indoors to train,” Gilbert told the Voice. “We can’t train down on the pitch because it is soaking wet and obviously you are not allowed inside due to covid reasons. Everything is shut over Christmas. Hopefully all the boys have been doing bits and pieces and we will see next Saturday when we play St Dominick away in the Senior Cup. It is frustrating that we have missed out on the last three games. We were getting a bit of momentum going again.

“We tried to get training on today [Monday] but couldn’t get anywhere so we are trying for tomorrow [Tuesday] just to get an hour and a half under our belt before Saturday.

“We have tried over Christmas but it is just so wet [at Priory Park] that you can’t get on the pitch. We tried to reverse [Monday’s] fixture to Camelford. Just on Sunday alone, they had rain and their monitor on the side of the pitch raised by 30 centimeters.

“Only two or three seasons ago we were playing Boxing Day and all over Christmas but now the weather is getting that bad that you just can’t get on the pitches. At Bodmin they have a leat but, when that is full, the water can’t go anywhere and backs up so nothing can drain off.

“At the moment the leats are all full so that is a major problem. We have had rain, rain, rain all over Christmas and one dry day. I went and watched Saltash play Liskeard on Boxing Day and their pitch was wrecked afterwards.

“When do you know when to play and when not to? At the end of the day, is the season going to carry forward or is it going to stop because of covid? Nobody seems to know. I heard that [infection] numbers are rising again so it is not great. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

“There are so many games to get in before the season ends. We will never cram them all in, you would be playing four times a week. Either they abandon this season and start a fresh or they run this season through and start [the next] later. The league has got a nightmare on their hands. I don’t wish that on anybody but that is why they are there, to make these decisions.”

Gilbert wouldn’t be drawn on what action the South West Peninsula League committee should take, preferring to concentrate on the football until he was told otherwise.

“I will leave that to Giler [secretary, Nick Giles], I just try to concentrate on the team,” replied Gilbert, before going on to preview Saturday’s trip to St Dominick of the East Cornwall Premier League.

“I think we will have to be big and strong. We are going to have to have winners there. I don’t think the pitch is great so we will have to really look at the side and judge it. We can bring some of the fringe players in but also need to be quite strong.

“The muddy pitch will be a leveller and will suit them better than us. I don’t know anything about them, that is the problem. We can’t go and watch them because they haven’t been playing either. All we can do is take care of ourselves. I don’t think it will be a good day for football. I think it will be percentages and getting the ball forward as quickly as we can. Hopefully, with our experience, we can go there, turn them over and get a result. If the players are doing what they should be doing then they will turn up fit anyway.

“I will be disappointed if they come unfit and that will cost them. The ones that have done stuff will play the following week and the ones that haven’t will sit there. They have got a duty to turn up fit. You always get certain ones, the likes of Jordan Dingle and Stuart Bowker, who are posting stuff. Chris Reski, Tom Chambers and people like that. I wouldn’t want to turn up to the next game unfit because it doesn’t look right.

“I feel sorry for Phil [Hiscox, league secretary]. He has got a nightmare on his hands. I can imagine he is getting fed up with calls saying teams can’t play then having to rearrange fixtures. We want to play. We don’t want any games off.

“We wanted to play Mousehole, Dobwalls and Camelford but we physically couldn’t. I don’t know how they will get over it. Whether they give it a winter break or they play a lot more games earlier in the season, twice a week up until Christmas, have a break and start fresh in the new year? Only they can decide that and that is what they are there to do.”

By Tom Howe 30th December 2020

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