Osman breathing new life into the Dragons

WIVENHOE Town manager Mo Osman is pleased with his team’s progress so far this season.

Wivenhoe were the whipping boys in the Ridgeons League Premier Division last season and effectively only escaped relegation by virtue of the fact that Needham Market were promoted and both Harwich & Parkeston and King’s Lynn Reserves withdrew from the league.

The Dragons finished rock bottom, winning just one game and picking up only eight points, in what was only the club’s second season at Step Five level after dropping down from the Ryman League.

The fall-out of Richard Carter’s spell in charge impacted hard on the Broad Lane club last season, with a young and inexperienced side struggling to compete, a fact readily acknowledged by Osman, who took over the reins in September last year.

“Last season we had ‘lost’ games before we even turned up! We were getting spanked six or seven nil some weeks and it was difficult for the young lads.

“But whenever I was asked whether I would rather we had been relegated at the end of last season I said no, because you need to play at the highest level possible against better players if you want to improve.”

Wivenhoe, who entertain sixth-placed CRC today, currently occupy 13th place in the league with 25 points thanks to six wins and seven draws, including taking a point apiece off the top two – Dereham Town and Wroxham – a sure sign of the progress being made on the pitch.

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Osman, who worked at Arsenal for two years and Colchester United for five years with their community schemes and also with the U’s centre of excellence, has coached several of his current players from a young age.

The 34-year-old, who also runs his own coaching scheme Football 2000, said: “I want to work with what I have got and coach them to become better players.

“We have been much more competitive this season, but we need to keep picking up points and get to 30 or 40 points and make sure we are safe as we don’t want to get into a relegation battle.

“I will be happy as long as we stay out of the bottom three, and then next season the young lads will be another year older and more experienced.

“We have secured the future of the ground, so we are moving forward as a club, and hopefully in two or three years’ time we will have a side capable of doing something at this level.”

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