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Long Melford manager Jamie Bradbury happy with high-flying start




Jamie Bradbury has admitted his Long Melford side have exceeded expectation's this season, but aren't getting carried away, writes Callum Crabtree.

The Villagers sit sixth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division and could quietly disrupt the promotion picture come late April.

Bradbury admits it's nice to think about, but his focus is solely on the team's development.

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Fakenham Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup..Pictured: Long Melford manager Jamie Bradbury....PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (26328348)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Fakenham Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup..Pictured: Long Melford manager Jamie Bradbury....PICTURE: Mecha Morton.... (26328348)

"It's remarkable to think about, but we have to be realistic," he said."We're a small side with limited resources compared to others in our league but the first half of the season has gone very well; better than we expected."

"There are sides around us now who have played fewer games and have aspirations of climbing up the table so we have to carry on the way we've started."

He also praised his side's work-rate and the luck of having no major injury concerns.

Long Melford 2019/20 team picture ahead of hosting Wrxoham, featuing manager Jamie Bradbury and debutant goalkeeper Matt Walker (26328384)
Long Melford 2019/20 team picture ahead of hosting Wrxoham, featuing manager Jamie Bradbury and debutant goalkeeper Matt Walker (26328384)

"We're a very small squad so if we get a big injury, we can't just throw money at players to bring them in," he added.

" Luckily, we've been fortunate in that respect and the boys have been great. If we keep a consistent side and push up into the promotion spaces, that would be lovely."

Despite the impressive start, Melford are currently on a run of three defeats on the bounce. However, Bradbury isn't concerned for now.

"We're happy with how we've developed over the last two seasons so this is just a poor run," he said. "We're not panicking about losing, it's just the matter in which we are."

Long Melford v Newmarket Town - Newmarkets Jack Watson and Melfords Jake Jackson.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (26328498)
Long Melford v Newmarket Town - Newmarkets Jack Watson and Melfords Jake Jackson.Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (26328498)

"In the game against Stanway, the three goals we conceded were carbon copies of each other. But we were pleased in the manner we able to fight back in the second half and get two goals back."

Whitton United are the visitors to Stoneylands on Saturday (3pm), and Bradbury expects it to be a tight affair.

"They're in a very good spell (Whitton) and are very similar to us so it will be a close battle," he said.

"I thought they would be further up the table as they've brought in reinforcements but they haven't kicked on as much as I thought."

A win against Whitton could see the Villagers surpass Norwich United into fifth and edge ever close to what many at the club didn't think was possible.


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