Slimbridge forward Jamie Martin has thanked the people behind the scenes at the Southern League club and described them as “the ones who make the club” after making his 350th appearance for the Swans on Wednesday night.
Martin started the midweek game at Thornhill Park, against Barnstaple Town with the Swans claiming a 3-0 win on a wet Wednesday evening. Following the game Slimbridge’s third highest appearance maker ever spoke to Severn Sport about reaching the milestone.
“It feels great to reach such a milestone,” such Martin. “It’s crazy just how quick my time at the club has gone and hopefully there are still many more games ahead of me!”
On the night Slimbridge ran out winners thanks to an own goal and a Toumani Sidibe strike before the break, followed by a Mike Ford finish in the second half and Martin praised his side for a great result in testing conditions.
“Of course it is great to get the win against a hardworking Barnstaple side. When you throw in the testing conditions as well it was always going to be a tough one – but we got the job done. So I’m delighted!” Martin said.
Martin, or “Asbo” as he is nicknamed on Social Media by his teammates down the years, made his debut for Slimbridge at the start of the 2008/09 season, when the Swans plied their trade in the Gloucestershire County League.
The debut was a winning one as Slimbridge beat Hanham Athletic 3-2. His first goal for the club would come just two games later when he netted against Berkeley Town in the Stroud Charity Cup in a 4-2 win.
Martin would have to wait until the new year to score his first league goal, which came in a 5-0 demolition of Kings Stanley in March 2009. But he would end the season with 8 goals in his debut campaign for the club.
His most prolific season came in the 2011/12 season where Martin scored 22 goals in 43 games in all competitions when Slimbridge were in the Hellenic Premier Division.
Martin played a key role in the 2014/15 season which saw Slimbridge finish 3rd in the Western League and ultimately earn promotion into the Southern League Division One South – where they have remained since.
So how much has Martin enjoyed his time at the club? He left his answer short and sweet and used the opportunity to thank some key individuals for their support.
“I’ve loved it! There’s been highs and lows, but that’s football,” said Martin. “But I want to thank the people behind the scenes as they’re fantastic, they’re the ones who make the club so special.
Barry & Colin Gay, Paul Chappell, John Mack, Alena Wrixon, Tim Blake, Rob Peck, David Morgan, Brenda Martin, Ian Blount, all of them and there are so many more who have been so supportive of not just me, but the team!”
In total Martin is now playing in his 14th season at Thornhill Park, but the two key questions we wanted to ask were “Favourite game” and “Best player to have played with,”
“The favourite game for Slimbridge has to be Hereford away at Edgar Street. It was a good experience and I actually felt like a pro for one game!” Laughed Martin.
“And I’ve played with a few very good players in my time at Slimbridge, but the one stand out player is Marv Roberts. He was a handful for most defenders, scored goals and was a real leader in the changing room and on the pitch!”
Slimbridge host Lymington Town on Saturday afternoon with Martin eyeing up his 351st appearance for the club, so what does the forward have planned for the rest of the season?
“I want to score as many goals as I can. I will continue to work hard to do that and to make sure I’m in that starting XI week in, week out. With the players we have if I am doing that then I’ll be happy,” said Martin.
Slimbridge host Lymington Town in the Southern League Division One West on Saturday 23rd October, kick off at Thornhill Park 15:00
Credit for photos and stats – Slimbridge AFC. Visit SlimbridgeAFC.co.uk for more information and records for the Swans!