Willand Rovers Reserves 2014-2015
Willand Rovers Reserves currently play in the Fresha Devon & Exeter league in the Premier Division. They are one of five reserve teams playing alongside eleven first teams from around Devon and Exeter. The Reserves secured promotion to the Premier Division in 2001 and although they have been relegated and promoted a few times they have been in the Premier division now for the past 7 years. The Reserves are currently sponsored by Pearce Services who sponsor the home kit and Cullompton Glass who provided the team with polo shirts.
This season has seen some changes for the reserves. Their long standing manager Rob Buxton sadly decided to step down after three years in the role. Rob has played for the club for 15 years taking on the management role in 2011. Over the years Rob has seen many players come and go but his total dedication to the Reserves which should be recognised and honoured has seen him become a pivotal player for the club. When asked about his years playing/managing the team Rob said ” I play for Willand because I love the club and the reserves, always have and always will, there will only ever be one club for me”. Rob says it’s hard too choose his best moment but says it’s between two, “Winning the league in my first season in 2001, it was a joint top of the table clash between us and the university. We won 4-1, it was an amazing day and night, or, when I captained the reserves in the premier cup in 2006 winning 2 -0”. Rob continues to captain the team and his passion for the reserves goes on.
A new management team was appointed by the committee back in July, Martin Matthews has taken on the role of manager and James Parker has become assistant manager. James joined Willand in 2003 playing for the 1st team, he played for two seasons then left to join Cullompton but his connection to Willand was strong and brought him back to the Reserves in 2011. James says on taking the Assistant Managers role “I wanted to help the younger lads with the experience of playing at this level for the last 15 years”. Martin has stepped in to the role of manager with enthusiasm and his desire for success is obvious to everyone. ” I gladly accepted the management role as being associated with a club with Willand’s stature and reputation is an honour. It’s hard work but I’m up for the challenge. We have had an unlucky start to the season so far having played the most games out of the league. We have had a lot of mid week evening games as well that hasn’t helped as a lot of players work shifts during the week, but I’m positive that we will keep our spot in the Premier Division this year.” There are a number of new players this season and also some of the U18’s have been promoted into the reserves. “The committee wanted the youth brought through and with the senior players around them the experience of playing in the Premier Division is daunting but they have shown desire and commitment at all times” Martin also says that ” The new players we have are proving their worth and the team spirit is growing week by week. We have a great bunch of lads playing for us and I hope the Reserves success continues for many seasons to come”.