UEL Men’s 1st XI will look to bounce back to form, when they take on bottom of the table Imperial Men’s 1st in a South Eastern 1A fixture at Hackney Marshes.
The boys in blue will aim to recover from their harrowing defeat to promotion rivals Reading, who they lost to 2-1 prior to the winter break.
The game against Reading remains only one of two defeats for UEL this season, in a season coach Ryan Gordon hopes will bring promotion for his side.
Ahead of the crucial clash, coach Gordon revealed that he has former professional Michelangelo back for the crucial game against Imperial.
“We welcome back Michelangelo into the squad. He is a former professional footballer from Italy and is a tall centre forward, with a great first touch and an eye for goal, he comes straight in to the squad; otherwise we have a full squad.”
Coach Gordon talked about getting back into the groove, given the long winter break. He claimed the players where ready and focused for a tough four weeks ahead in the team’s promotion chase.
“Having returned from our winter break and looking at the boys in training they are refreshed, focused and want to do well.”
The winter break is a massive topic of conversation amongst professional football leagues in England, and coach Gordon didn’t shy away from the importance it would have for his side mentally.
“The winter break is a hot topic in football, I have looked at how the winter breaks affects the physiological, psychometric, and performance of elite athletes in football, and also what role the environmental factor plays in having a winter break.”
The game against Imperial will provide the East Londoners with a stiff test, with the opposition battling relegation.
Coach Gordon relayed his confidence in his players, and was himself confident his side will provide a professional display.
The former Norwich scout hoped his players would focus on their level of performance in the fixture, rather than taking into account the opposition’s place at the bottom of the table.
“We have a job to do, and I’m expecting a level of performance from the players that focuses on performance not a league table. You don’t do well by looking at league tables, you do well by training well and playing to the best of your ability on match days.”
Belief And Motivation
After a harsh but fair result last time out, coach Gordon was keen to stress the players’ belief and motivation in turning around their fortunes, in attempting to gain promotion back to the Premier division.
“I am a highly driven individual, who is motivated to succeed and do really well. I’ve worked very hard to instill a unique playing philosophy that I know for sure that the players enjoy, believe and have bought my beliefs into our style of play.
“This is built on effective and efficient work ethic and team spirit within the squad.”
Whilst a good attitude will reap many rewards for UEL, it is also paramount to have a good coaching staff behind the players to enhance the potential and playing abilities of the players.
Coach Gordon laid praise upon his staff in preparing the players for their weekly BUCS fixtures, from Sports Psychologists through to Sport Nutritionists.
“UEL staff provide an excellent service to the players, services such as sports psychology, Strength and Conditioning, Performance Analysis, Sport Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Coaching and Recruitment alongside support staff behind the scenes.
Everything seems to be in order for UEL in their chase for promotion, however, only time will tell if the players are ready and willing to battle to reclaim their spot amongst the elite of BUCS Football.