Daly on Portishead Town's season so far and ambitions for the future

Portishead Town's Bristol Road

Portishead Town's Bristol Road. - Credit: Dave Hewitt

Portishead Town manager Eamonn Daly has shared his side's promising start to this season and their ambitions for a campaign they would like to see through to end.

Posset are currently sitting in 12th place in the Toolstation Western League Division One table, with 14 points from 10 games, which were all played before October 24.

Daly, speaking on the Toolstation Western League podcast, said: “We find ourselves in the same boat as everybody else.

“I know, there were a couple of games played at the end of December, which we didn't play.

“I think this whole ongoing scenario is very frustrating for everybody involved in local football and in life in general, to be fair.”

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With the country in a third national lockdown, the league met on January 14 to suspend all fixtures until further notice but they are yet to make a decision on what will happen for the remainder of the campaign.

“It's an unenviable task, isn't it, for the people that have to make the decisions because it's been stop-start, and it's very difficult to be making, I suppose, the right decisions all the time," added Daly.

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“Which just leads to frustration, and it leads to people coming up with their own scenarios.

“But my view on it is, I think that if the league can get going again, in the next few weeks, I think there is a chance that fixtures might get fulfilled. Albeit playing maybe twice a week for a large number of weeks.

“But, again, that's the weather permitting as well. If we have bad bouts of weather, it's going to be proved to be a lot more difficult.

“I suppose an extension on the season is an option, but I'm not sure if that's in the FA's plans or the Toolstation plans at all.”

Portishead were in 13th place last year before the coronavirus pandemic cut short the campaign and were in confident mood this campaign with great wins against Sherborne and Cheddar in September and Daly feels his side have what it takes to keep improving all the time.

Portishead Town currently sit in 12th place in the Toolstation Western League Division One table

Portishead Town currently sit in 12th place in the Toolstation Western League Division One table with 14 points from 10 games. - Credit: Dave Hewitt

“I think our realistic targets this year was, again, we're looking at progression,” Daly added.

“So, I saw the progression last year before the season was ended prematurely, and going into this season, we strengthened again.

“We brought some players in, we've strengthened since again, we've lost one or two along the way. But yeah, we were certainly aiming at a top-six finish.

“I still think if the season gets underway again, that's well within our reach. And we have to look at top four, although that being said, there's probably, at the moment, more complete sides who don't play together for a little bit longer and are more in a position to be worthy of a top four spot at the moment.”

When asked who has impressed him the most this season, Daly said: "I would probably say Warminster are a good side. Andy (Crabtree) is always going to have his side very strong, they're well set up and they know their jobs very well.

“We did score, we're used to conceding late on in games and that was one game that we scored late on against Warminster, it was a very late goal in that game to get the draw.

“But on balance it was an even enough match which gives us the insight to know that we can compete with the teams at top. We haven't played Calne, we know Calne's going to be a good side, they've been strong, [were] strong last year, and they've maintained that this year.

“Corsham, obviously, with Kieran (Baggs) coming in there and I think everyone's aware of the quality that they've got in their side.

“I watched the Warminster-Corsham game on Boxing Day and Warminster did very well that day, but I was listening to Kieran a couple of weeks ago saying, you know, they haven't been at of the races, maybe for the last three or four games, but they're still grinding out the three points each time, aren't they? So, you know, that's all the sign of a quality side, isn't it?

“Ashton & Backwell is always going to be a tight one, it's a local derby for us and I know Stuart (Jones) very well. Me and Stuart go back a long way, it would be very nice to get one over on them but we certainly know that is going to be a very tough game, or tough two games when we play Ashton & Backwell.”

But the uncertainty of the future still leaves football in danger of the season coming to an end and Daly says his side will keep in touch throughout the period.

“Social media is great, I'm a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to these things, but I am on Twitter and WhatsApp and all these different social media platforms or whatever else it is,” he added.

“You have got immediate access to contacting the players and we can all get involved in talking to each other in Zoom meetings and everything else.

“At the moment, because we can't train, obviously, for the last few weeks, what we're doing is trying to put a little bit of a competitive edge on the players, and they're doing 5k runs, we've tasked them to do three a week.

“We've got a little league table going just to put a bit of an edge on it, so we know they're doing a bit and some of the lads, they'll be very self-disciplined anyway.

“But it is one way of having a little bit of fun and also maintaining the boys’ fitness at the same time.”

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