It may be early doors in the 2022-23 season, but, at Radford FC, home of The Pheasants, they’ve flown out of the blocks, making up for lost time, and missed opportunities, from the season last.
A couple of changes here and there, and the joint-management team of Glenn Russell and Marko Markelic, have hit a reset button for a club gunning for promotion, and, with the goals of Jevin Seaton and Jordan Alls, who’s betting against them.
Eight wins from eight in the league, and ten wins and a draw from twelve in all competitions (they lost an FA Cup replay at home to Anstey Nomads in early August) has already set them up nicely for the coming months; now, it’s another step away from the league, with back-to-back cup matches.
Tuesday night (20 September) will see The Pheasants travel to Rainworth Miners Welfare in the opening round of this seasons Nottinghamshire FA Senior Cup, before Saturday, it’s the turn of the FA Vase, and current, united Counties Division One leaders, Aylestone Park, visiting Radford’s Selhurst Street home.
“Pre-season, we all know it was horrendous, awful really,” began joint-manager, Glenn Russell.
“Because of the short turn-around from last season, we had very few players turning up (holidays, work, other commitments), so the cups, this early on, they’ve certainly been a distraction.
“They are a lot harder now, especially the Senior Cup, and with the bigger clubs not entering until later on; the gulf, it’s massive, so I’d rather have league games if I’m honest.
“Yes, we’ll be switching things around come Rainworth, and Aylestone but, what I see, with this bunch of lads, right now, the better the team we face, the better we are on the day.”
The next few weeks, they’re already looking pivotal in The Pheasants’ season, with early title contenders, Aylestone, also due to be opposed in the league, at their Linwood Playing Field, on 8 October.
Radford have four league games (as well as two cup outings) to ove3rcome before then, but they’ll have been boosted by this past weekend’s record-breaking win when home to St. Andrews.
An 11-0 success set a new, club record, Seaton grabbing a five-goal haul, which included a 17-minute, first half hat-trick – they were seven to the good at the interval.
Alongside Seaton’s five goals, were two from Scott Litchfield, two for Johnathan Jebbison, and one from substitute Aaron Robinson, as well as an own-goal; it was a result that’s been coming having already put five past Barrow Town, and four past both West Brdigford, and Holwell Sports.
“We were ruthless, and did everything right from the opening minute,” explained Russell, of the win over St. Andrews.
“The camaraderie, the togetherness, in which we have here, right now, is massive, and it shows, more with the number of games we’re going through.
“With Jevin (Seaton), we took him from being the winger he was last season (finished fourth, lost in the play-offs, Seaton scored thirteen), and pushed him forward, and it’s paid off.
“He’s already scored sixteen this season, and Jordan (Alls) has ten and has missed the past few games.
“Jevin, for us, he wasn’t in the game enough when playing out wide, now, with him up front, it suits our style of play, so we’ll see how we push on from here.”
Alongside Glenn in the dugout is Marko Markelic, the pair bringing experience to The Pheasants game, with the former of the two having been at Selhurst Street for a number of years already.
“There’s a great backroom team alongside myself and Marko,” added Glenn.
“And it’s one that works really well together, people like Mick (Malia) and Errol (Campbell), and our Physio, Neil (Shoebridge) and Analyst, Brodie (Bradford-Thom).
“There’s a job to do here though, one that’s not done yet, far from it, and we’re in a good league, with some great clubs, be they from Notts, Leicestershire, or Derbyshire.”
Currently second in the table, four behind leaders Ayletsone Park, but with two games in hand, Russell and Markelic send The Pheasants into a double cup outing over the upcoming week.
Tuesday (20 September) sees Radford host Rainworth MW in the Notts Senior Cup, before Saturday (24 September) and the trip to Ayletsone Park in the FA Vase.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @RadfordFC64 the Radford players celebrate a recent FA Vase win at Boston Town.