Carrying on with my experience gathering, couple of pieces I did for the back-page of the Seaham & Houghton Star, starting with a preview of Seaham Red Star's trip to Tow Law:
After two weeks of inactivity due to the bad weather Seaham Red Star return to action this weekend with promotion very much on their mind.
They currently lie 3rd in the Ebac Northern League Second Division, two points ahead of Darlington RA who have played two games more than them.
And Manager Mark Collingwood is confident that his side are up for the challenge ahead.
“I think we've got every chance. There will be plenty of twists and turns still to come and I'm sure people expect us to fall away. But we're there over halfway through the season and we're there on merit. Our aim is to still be on the shirt tails of everyone with 5 or 6 games to go and give it a real good go.”
He added “Our aims at the start of the season was to be competitive and not let ourselves down. Those aims have now changed. We definitely want to finish in the top 10 as that will give us a FA Cup spot next season and bring some much needed revenue into the club but promotion, why not. We know we're punching above our weight but we've got every chance.”
The push for promotion continues on Saturday with a trip to Tow Law Town and Collingwood admits this is a must win game.
“Tow Law are one of the best footballing teams in this league but if we're going to be genuine contenders these are the type of clubs we need to be beating, those clubs in mid table and below. Any points against the likes of Northallerton, Crook, Ryhope, Jarrow Roofing are a bonus but this is our bread and butter.”
And Collingwood thinks the extended break came probably at the right time for his men.
“We'd been on a good run but the loss to Thornaby didn't help our momentum so it's been good to have that break and recharge the batteries. We've managed to get some training sessions in so we're all looking forward to getting back.”
Seaham have been busy recruiting since that Thornaby game and will hand a debut to Sean Sweeney who has signed from South Shields. Fellow new signing Ivan Stoyanov, who impressed on loan at the club earlier this year, is unavailable however as he is currently back in his native Bulgaria on trial at top flight club Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
But Collingwood is happy with both of his new signings and believes Sweeney can be an instant aid to his side's ambitions.
“We're not like other clubs who have thousands to spend. We're down to the bare bones and some times we have have to go bargain hunting. But in Sean we've got a very good player who will score goals for this club, hopefully starting on Saturday.”
And also the preview for Seaham RUFC before their trip to North Shields:
Saturday sees Seaham RUFC back in competitive action with a trip to a resurgent North Shields.
Shields have won 4 out of the last 5 games with their only defeat against runaway league leaders Bishop Auckland.
However Seaham themselves have been in better form recently and last time out they recorded a much needed 3-0 win over fellow strugglers Barnard Castle. That win leaves Seaham 8 points and two places ahead of the relegation zone.
One of Seaham's problems this season has been an inability to put out a settled side with a lengthy injury list adding to players missing with work commitments. But the players who have come in have given their all, usually in unfamiliar positions.
The previous meeting between the two sides ended in Shields leaving with a 48-12 victory. But Seaham can be pleased by the way they ended that game, scoring two tries and threatening to steal a bonus point.
It is a never say die attitude that has been prominent throughout the current campaign and if they can put out a full strength team they are more than confident of securing a result.