Fairytale start for new team as they top league early in season

It has been a fairytale start to the season for a club that has taken on both a new league and a new manager.

Collingham have taken their new league by storm under gaffer Damon Parkinson and are leading the table in the Nottinghamshire Senior League Euro Soccer Premier Division.

“We have started better than we thought,” said Parkinson.

Damon Parkinson (middle) when he signed with the club.
Damon Parkinson (middle) when he signed with the club.

“I said to everyone when I took over that I would hope by mid-September it would be my team as some players would take a while to bring in.

“I hoped we wouldn’t be too far behind at that point to be competitive from then.

“There is still lots to work both on and off the field but I am pleased with the start so far.”

Collingham versus Wollaton.
Collingham versus Wollaton.

The only blemish on Collingham’s record so far has been against Cotgrave where they lost 2-1.

“Unfortunately I was away for the Cotgrave game,” said Parkinson.

“I wasn’t planning on being involved in football this season so I was booked away for that match.

“I don’t think we reacted to the pitch side and shape on the day.

Collingham celebrate a win.
Collingham celebrate a win.

“Fair play to the opposition, they played well.

“As I’ve said before, the first six weeks are learning weeks as we are a new side.

“I have high expectations that the group needs to adjust to as well, it is a work in progress.”

The team has had some excellent wins including a 7-0 goal festival against contenders Southwell City Reserves and a 4-1 victory against Dunkirk AFC.

It has been a great start to the season for Collingham.
It has been a great start to the season for Collingham.

“We have a really young squad,” said Parkinson.

“We have had Ben Sharpe join us from Newark Town and he is only in his mid-20s.

“It is a talented group and hopefully we can hold onto most of the players in the future.

“We still need one or two others to join the group but I always knew we would need to be patient as certain lads were already committed to other clubs at the point I took over.

“The group has become very close very quickly so we need to make sure that anyone we bring in fits with the rest of the squad as well as being a good player.”

When Parkinson took the reins at a club where he had a previous history, he essentially had to build a team.

“I am very surprised at how well it has gone,” he said.

“I saw how many games we had in the first six weeks and honestly, I was a bit worried.

The club are confident for getting promotion.
The club are confident for getting promotion.

“We have started brilliantly results-wise but are still not anywhere near where I think we could or should be in the future.

“We have been good in small spells in games but need to be better for longer periods.

“We have only trained four times and some players haven’t even trained with the squad so they have been thrown straight into a fixture.

“This will improve.

“We are still looking at all areas for improvement.

“Anyone that says they are completely happy with everything isn’t telling the truth.

“I think one area we need to strengthen is to bring in a little bit more experience to support the development of the younger players.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean someone older, just someone who has played a few more games at step six or seven.”

The Collingham manager added that they were motivated to achieve their goal for the season.

“I think although you want to win everything and it would be nice to be in the cup finals, our aim is still 100 percent to try and get out of step seven,” said Parkinson.

“It’s the hardest promotion to achieve as there is normally only one place and sometimes even that doesn’t guarantee going up depending on what happens in other leagues.”

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