On Saturday we welcome the players, supporters and officials of Launceston to Bodieve Park for this SWPL encounter.
Ordinarily this time of the season is a real challenge for managers, getting the balance right for the here and now, with keeping one eye on the huge fixture list and making sure you have a squad ready and able to play at any time.
This year due to Covid, the period of Saturday/Tuesday matches stretches on for even longer.
There is always a pressure to win the current match and a managers instinct can be to always go with the lads that have provided your results time after time. However I believe that you have to be wary of fatigue. Last season our players got tired. Then they got injured. For me, the magic recipe is to try to keep everyone as fresh as best as possible, whilst clocking up the points.
I made changes following the Falmouth victory, against St Austell. A simplistic view would be to say we lost, so the changes cost us. Whilst that could be true to a certain extent, if it was us that got the injury time winner in a game that could have gone either way, it’s a great call. Fine margins.
So we come into this one after a very good win against leaders Dobwalls and I’m left with the same call, we are playing again on Tuesday, when do the lads get a breather and freshen up?
I’m thrilled with the squad we have, I trust them, but how many changes is the right amount? What areas of the field? Who’s confidence may take a knock?
It’s a much nicer dilemma than the one I had last season when multiple injuries left us with a depleted squad and rushing players back and that is definitely in the back of my mind in protecting our numbers this time around.
I’m delighted that these dilemmas aren’t exclusive to me. I’m in contact with other SWPL managers and it’s something that occupies the thinking time of all of them.
Here’s hoping whatever I decide to go with, I get it right.
Enjoy the game