Alan Hansen’s famous Match-Of The Day remark that ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ may comeback to haunt Daventry Town almost 20 years later.
The Liverpool legend turned television pundit was referring to “Fergie’s Babes” who lost their opening game of the 1995-96 season to Aston Villa by a 3-1 margin.
It is now a matter of history that Manchester United went onto complete the League-FA Cup double inspired by such raw recruits as David Beckham and Paul Scholes.
Back in the real world circa 2015 at Communications Park, Allan Smart’s teenagers have a different role to play in helping Daventry Town to stave off relegation from the Southern League.
The London-based academy players are doing their bit to keep the wages bill down but asking youngsters to make meaningful contributions in semi-professional football is a tall order indeed.
The omens so far are none too good! To date, Town’s new blend of youth and experience has produced one win from half a dozen league and cup matches.
Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat by Godalming Town saw the well-supported Surrey visitors provide all four goalscorers. Rapid improvement is required if the Town are to avoid being sucked into a prolonged relegation battle.
Currently 15th in the Division One Central table, Daventry are not yet out of the woods despite a 10-point cushion over the two clubs currently trapped in the relegation zone.
AFC Hayes (11 points) and North Greenford United (13) are both well adrift of Town (23) but the warning signals are there for all to see following the drastic budget cuts.
Beaconsfield SYCOB moved out of the drop zone at the weekend with a shock 4-0 win over Aylesbury United whilst Hayes already have a victory to their credit over Daventry this season.
Smart’s men still ‘head’ the bottom eight in the step four table, but both Northwood and Bedford Town appear to have enough firepower to pull clear.
That would leave Daventry to slug it out with Uxbridge, Leighton Town, Beaconsfield, North Greenford and Hayes.
The visit to Browns Road of rock bottom Hayes on December 20 is Town’s next six-pointer. Christmas holiday fixtures against promotion candidates Kettering Town, Bedworth United and Aylesbury are expected to provide little or no solace.
Hopefully greater experience will have been added to the Daventry line-up by the time it faces North Greenford (March 14th), Leighton (March 28th), Beaconsfield (April 4th) and Uxbridge (April 11th).
Meanwhile keep your fingers crossed that drawn games are the order of the day when Beaconsfield play North Greenford on February 14th and Hayes on March 21st. April 18th (Greenford v. Hayes) is another date for the diary.