Interview – Slimbridge AFC Manager Leon Sterling

Leon – Hard Work and Stability beginning to pay dividends

Slimbridge Manager Leon Sterling today reflected on his side’s most productive week so far in the Toolstation Western Premier League, and identified that a combination of hard work and more stability in the side had contributed to an unbeaten three match run, which saw the Swans collect five points from three games and lift themselves from the bottom of the table

Following last night’s draw with Bitton at Wisloe Road, Sterling traced the roots of the improvement back further than the current run – ‘We discussed collectively even before the last three matches how we could become more difficult to beat, and be more competitive in this League.’, he revealed, ‘and the lads have taken that on board

With the feelgood factor beginning to return to Wisloe, Sterling revealed that he had asked his side for more effort during matches – ‘We have been working that little bit harder over 90 minutes, and that is helping to boost our performances.’

Overcoming the loss of Senior players and struggling to field a settled side has also contributed to some poor early results, but Sterling feels that things are beginning to move in the right direction – ‘The side is a bit more settled now, as we’re having to make maybe 1 or 2 changes rather than the 4 or 5 previously, so that’s helping the understanding between players, which in turn leads to less mistakes.’

It has been very noticeable that some of the Senior figures within the squad have been taking the lead with settling examples on the pitch, with Sterling dominant in the victory against Cadbury Heath, while Assistant Manager Freddy Ward picked up a Man of the Match award in the narrow defeat to Odd Down, the last defeat prior to the unbeaten run. The Manager feels that is also paying dividends. ‘Obviously, with the young guys we have, confidence will always play a big part in the game. We have been getting better performances from individuals, which in turn have made us play better. More players are now performing to a level where we can start picking up points, and myself and Fred try and help and talk to players through the games. Maybe that has helped as well.

Overall, the Manager feels that the side are now beginning to move in the right direction – ‘The guys that have come in this season are slowly getting to grips with what’s needed to perform in this tough league – We have turned a corner a bit now, but we still have further to go before we hold our own. But we’re slowly getting there.’