Hellenic League Preview: Binfield FCBy Adam Lee
August 01, 2012
Wing men are key if Moles are to realise their potential
Binfield boss Mark Tallentire admits last season’s Hellenic Premier Division campain left a lot to be desired.
In the cups, Binfield excelled, winning both the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy and the Hellenic Floodlit Cup, finishing runners-up in the Hellenic Challenge Cup while also enjoying good runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase,
However, it is promotion that Tallentire wants above all else, and to lead the only Bracknell or Wokingham team into the Southern League would be a massive feather in his managerial cap.
And based on the shrewd signings he has already made this summer, there is every chance that the Moles could fulfill that destiny.
The departing Carl Davies has been replaced with Jemel Johnson, and although the two players are poles apart in style, Johnson is sure to benefit from Binfield’s slick passing style and excellent playing surface.
Full-back Ben Sturgess should supply the attacking element from defence that has been sorely missed since losing James Partridge to a long-term injury, while Shaun Wanklyn will add grit and power to the Moles backline.
Joel Havermans will provide a great work ethic and physical presence in the centre of midfield, while the combined goalscoring abilities of Garry Sargeant and Richardf Bland need little advertising to local football fans.
Indeed, such has been the extent of Binfield’s strengthening over the summer, and the depth of squad that the Moles can now boast, it seems Tallentire is preparing an assault on all fronts.
They already have a terrific goalkeeper, a sturdy defence and a creative central midfield, but it is on the wings where they must find consistency.
The catalyst for the club finishing runners-up in 2010/11 was undoubtedly the form of Luke Williams, and since he left for Hayes & Yeading, Binfield have failed to replicate his influence.
In Danny Wing, Stuart Tanfield, Rikki Tagoe-Gilbert and Jos Millar, the Moles undoubtedly have the experience and talent on the flanks to supply the chances for frontmen Ian Davies, Bland, Sargeant and Johnson.
But the difference between success and failure for Binfield this season could well be whether they can consistently produce week in week out.
Last season: 8th in the Hellenic Premier Division.
Prediction for this season: With so many strong teams in the league this year, Binfield will do very well to finish in the top five. Anything more will be a fantastic accomplishment, but one that is certainly achievable should they safely negotiate a very difficult opening to the season – 3rd.
Players in: Shaun Wanklyn, Ben Sturgess, Joel Havermans, Rikki Tagoe-Gilbert, Jemel Johnson, Garry Sargeant, Richard Bland.
Players Out: Carl Davies, Steve Nebbett.
Key player: Ian Davies: Goals win football matches, and to deny Binfield a player who has netted 109 times in just 120 matches would be a killer blow. Even if he is unavailable for some games this season, he is still likely to break the 30-goal mark.
One to watch: Jake Butler: Came onto the scene towards the end of last season and showed a maturity far beyond his years. Can play across the midfield and is a real presence on the pitch. Looks set for a big future.
First match: Wantage Town (a) Tuesday, August 7.