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Keep An Eye on the Ashes!

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A few months ago I remarked on the potential 'green shoots' of revival at the Waterways. IF, and it is a big if, some more experienced heads, could be added to their emerging youthful squad then the Ashes could be play-off contenders next season. Yesterday they were outstanding. They scored 5 but could easily have been in double figures, even allowing for some missed opportunities. The Welton 'keeper to my counting made NINE fantastic saves, blocks or interventions. it was the best display of goalkeeping I've seen all season. Of course, it will not have gone  unnoticed elsewhere the development of the likes of Ethan Wright, Joe Preece,  Kieran O'Melia and the import Jack Curtis. I hope all these stay at Saltash for at least another year.

Earlier in the season I saw a succession of games where Saltash matched some of the biggest names in the WL. However, few points were accrued as they lack(ed) a serial finisher. That is still the case. Of course, the most expensive part of any team and such a player difficult to find. Duffey continues to be first class between the posts. A striker and a 'Neil Slateford' type midfielder could transform the Ashes.

Under the radar I think Macca Brown is doing a very tidy job. Since February only 3 teams have claimed more WL points. A very interesting summer ahead. It should be far less fraught than 12 months earlier!

I can say it has been a real joy going to Saltash, with my semi-regular visits showing to me continuous team and individual improvement throughout the season. I'd go as far to say watching this squad develop has been the highlight of my season. I go to a lot of games. It's numbering about 70 for the season, from EPL to Step 7, yet I've looked forward to trips to Saltash as much as anywhere. That was not what I would have been expecting to write last July!

Good luck Ashes and outside their fold I repeat my assertion that things are looking promising again at the Ashes. I hope I'll be proved right!

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Yes totally agree the young ashes team have impressed since Xmas, the main thing is for the club, to keep hold of these players for the next two  or three years to reap the benefits,  I personally feel that's how long it will take them to be a force in western league, I have attended the last three home matches, and have to say, those three teams and a few others I have seen, would struggle in the swpl, but you only play what's in front if you, if they stick together for couple years yes maybe, or add a couple players with experience who knows,  but not good enough yet for top 5!,  But the future is certainly bright for the ashes, 

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Macca and Britch have done another excellent job moulding a new young side.

It was always going to be a difficult transition and that proved to be the case early on although the lads were losing games by the odd goal against established opposition due to a little in experience and a few errors.

over the season they have improved week on week and they are now seeing rewards for all their hardwork and effort. 
The hardest thing in football these days seems to be holding on to players as money still talks but I'm sure they can do that with a strong ambitious project and sustainable strategy at the club, the player pathway has also been a massive success and that I'm sure will continue as Saltash have some very talented youngsters coming through the ranks, couple that with a couple of experienced heads along with Duffs in goal then all of a sudden you have a side capable of challenging in the top half of the Western league.

From what I've seen there is a real buzz around the place from supporters with improved social media and sponsors, add that to good seasons for the Res, thirds and Ladies the future could be bright.

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What a great thread, excellent to see their improvements this side of Xmas has been recognised and if it really is a case that only 3 teams have claimed more points since February then fair play. The name of the club has gone before the situation this season with everyone suggesting Saltash have underachieved, but it shouldn't be forgotten that they had NO players in the summer and a much smaller budget if everything said at the time was to be believed. Although given what Macca achieved at Millbrook, nobody should ever really be surprised. I look forward to see how they get on next season as there will no doubt be greater expectation, but I disagree with Tamar.man, at this level things can change very quickly if you get the right players in. Well done Ashes.

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All credit to Macca and Britch and the players. It's been a developing picture really. Fixtures in August weren't kind on reflection and we played the league champs, the play off winners and play off losers in our 1st four games. 

The lads have played really well since the end of February and the only game where it went flat was home to Ilfracombe otherwise the team jelled brilliantly. 

Next season - let's see but it's already sounding really positive from all quarters. 

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