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Life in the BSP

By: Ben Bowers
Date: 10/05/2010

AS Town prepare for non-league football next season, changes need to be made. As a fan of Luton as well I know it is possible to be successful at the first time of asking, although I am writing this before the BSP play-offs have begun.

I believe that Luton could now do an Exeter and have two successive promotions. However Luton are not the best example as without all the points deductions they would potentially be in the Championship let alone mid-table League 2. But without Luton I would have been writing this last year!

The best examples are Carlisle and Doncaster. The worst are Halifax and, to a lesser extent, Wrexham.

Having gone on various message boards a lot of the criteria for getting out of the league are very similar among the 3 clubs I asked (I couldn’t find anything for Halifax so I made do with Wrexham). However player recruitment is a mixed topic.

Doncaster and Carlisle both said that the fans have got to be patient and not get on their team’s back. Doncaster were in the BSP (or Division 5 as we may want to call it) for 5 years and look where they are now. You will notice that almost all teams who come up from the BSP do not go down straight away-Burton are a safe mid-table team and we all know about Torquay! Both teams agreed that the league is no pushover and in the end commitment, strength and muscle is what's needed. Fancy dans will be booted up in the air. It is not about playing like Barcelona but more about grinding out results. It is far more important that all of our players are physical and there is a fear factor within the team. Also you need a striker who will score you twenty goals a season-something Grimsby have been lacking since Michael Reddy. Ebbsfleet look likely to go down so Moses Ashikodi or Magno Viera would be a good bet. Tubbs from Salisbury also looks very impressive. I also think we need two new centre backs that will effectively kick players off the park. Wrexham’s defence was as mean as Luton’s this season. Curtis Obeng looks useful and so do the rest of the Wrexham back four. Loan signings are not as useful as they are in the football league and I fear Coulson and Devitt would be kicked off the park. If I were the manager I would sign players with non-league experience or league players wanting to get their careers back on track-but only if they are physical. Balance between youth and experience is also necessary. The players I would keep from the 09/10 season are Peacock(although he should only play a bit part role), Stockdale, Bore, Akpro and Hudson. The rest of our team need to be exchanged for physical 6 ft players who are willing to get stuck in along with a bit of pace in the wings and up front. I doubt we should keep Peter Sweeney.

The Carlisle fans seemed to think that we could go straight back up if we carried on our recent form into next season however they too warned against signing anybody under 5 ft 10.

It’s not the end of the world being relegated to non-league but you should not be arrogant and the Wrexham fans said there is no worse feeling than going to such out of the way places as Histon, Barrow etc and losing. However it is going to be a good experience next year going to new grounds etc.

Fenty needs to see if the players are behind Woods. If not there are many bright managers around. I assume Slade will stay on at Leyton Orient but if not then he would be at the top of my list. If not then Mark Cooper, Martin Allen, Steve Evans, Dean Holdsworth, Gary Brabin and , a bit far fetched, Dennis Wise. There is also a coach named Kevin Grey who has been highly commended

Also the referees are no better than in League 2 so expect shocking penalty decisions given!

All in all it seems that loyal fans and a loyal board, a balanced and physical squad, committed players and a positive attitude is what is needed to get us back up from the BSP.

Ben Bowers (a Town fan based in London)

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