Brimscombe & Thrupp defender Jack Bartman says he wants his side to have one of the best defensive records in the Hellenic League Premier in the 2021/22 season.
Before the 2020/21 season was concluded early due to the pandemic, Brimscombe had the joint-2nd least goals conceded in the division and had the best goal difference.
Ahead of the new campaign, which kicks off with a home tie with Longlevens on Tuesday 3 August, Bartman told Severn Sport that he has been impressed with how The Lilywhites have looked in pre-season.
“The squad is shaping up well” he said. “The lads are getting good game time and everyone’s been looking sharp in games and in training too.
“Personally my target would be to score 10 goals for the season and as a team to have one of the best defensive records in the league, which we had during last season before it was stopped.”
Whilst a target of 10 goals might seem steep for a defender, Bartman is no stranger to finding the net, even slotting home from a free kick in Monday’s 1-1 draw with Slimbridge!
Defensively, he has formed an excellent partnership with Kyle Pitts at the heart of the Brimscombe back line, whom he attributes a lot of his success to after making the step up the leagues from Frampton United, a move that saw Bartman claim the Severn Sport Signing of the Season award in our End of Season Awards 2020/21.
“Kyle has been brilliant to play with” Bartman said. “He’s played at this level for a long time now and has vast experience which has helped me to develop and settle into the defensive line, and it’s allowed us to form the partnership we have.
“There were a few things I had to adjust to quickly and there were setbacks in pre season with injuries and fitness, but I remained patient and worked hard and Sam [Prior] put his faith in me and when given the chance I took it.
“I was delighted to be awarded Signing of the Season and to be noticed personally and as a team for how well we were doing, and I think it’s shown for other players out there not to be afraid of the step up.”
Now going into, hopefully, a full season at The Meadow, the former Frampton man says he feels a lot more comfortable with his role in the side, but not so much so that he can rest on his laurels.
“First of all it’s a much earlier pre season which I’ve enjoyed as I’ve missed football over the last year” he said. “For me personally, I feel a lot more settled and confident knowing all the lads and the manager now.
“I also feel a bit less pressure to impress or make an impression to try to stand out, however the standards are still very high and very competitive which I like as it keeps me motivated to perform at a high level.”
Brimscombe & Thrupp are looking for an away pre-season friendly this week (Thursday 22nd or Friday 23rd July). If your club has space to accommodate Sam Prior’s side, contact the club on Twitter (@Btfcthemeadow) or Prior directly (@samprior5).