In the build up to the new season, we had a chat with Jon Laugharne the manager at Hellenic League Division 1 East side about his sides year on year improvement and his hopes for the season.
Laugharne has been the number one at the Memorial Ground for four and a half seasons and the last three have seen real progress on the pitch for Finch who finished eight last season.
On paper at the least, Laugharne has a squad at his disposal that could break into the top half of the table this time out and the Finch boss lauded his committed squad of players that includes long-serving captain Adam Barnard, top scorer Greg Alexander and the experienced former Binfield centre-back Gary Callaway.
Related: Here’s Finch players are being pictures with an emoji.
Player of the year
Callaway was the clubs player of the year last season after joining from the Moles and Laugharne said of his centre-back: “Gary brings that experience he’s had on and off the pitch from a very successful Binfield side.
“He’s a cup winning captain and his attitude is a very positive one for our club and the players around him, he’s a great talker on the pitch as well.”
‘We will get better’
Laugharne was positive about the direction of the club, which he is eager to see improve again on the pitch and he certainly has the benefit of a settled squad with the likes of Barnard, Freddie Barron and striker Harry Swabey all committing to the club again.
Finch have had some tough friendlies against higher opposition over the summer so far with their most recent result a 2-1 win over a Highmoor-IBIS reserve side.
‘A great example to a club like ours’
As usual, Finchampstead will have to content with away games for the first part of the season due to the pitch priority at the Memorial Ground being with the cricket club.
Laugharne’s side have games away at Chinnor, Chalfont Wasps, Wantage Town Reserves and Penn & Tylers Green to start them off, and the trip to Penn is the one the red and blacks boss has got his eye on.
“It’ll be a tough test away to the reigning league champions. They had an outstanding season last time out and lost only two league games – I think their reserves walked off with the Division 2 East title as well.” he said.
“Like us, they don’t have lights but they are a great example of what a club like ours can do.”
We’ll be keeping an eye on Finchampstead this season, you can to via the topic page for the club here. You can also see the latest Hellenic League Division 1 East fixtures, results and league table here.