Lindsay mobbed by Luke Roberts and Marvin Brooks. Photo Credit: Andy Orman
Originally Published 24/04/16 on South Coast Journalism.
Poole Town rounded off their fantastic season by stretching their unbeaten streak to 8 games – with a slightly unorthodox squad, at least by Tom Killick’s standards, who took the time to discuss his choices with South Coast Journalism.
Killick stated:“I think it’s always difficult when every point is precious, and you’re under pressure to win every game. And when you’ve got a tried and tested formula, it’s not easy to depart from that.
“It has brought us a lot of success, so today we just felt we could vary things a little bit, and see how things worked out.
“Perhaps in the first half we looked much more vulnerable defensively than we have in the past, and we knew that was probably going to be the case.
“But, it was pleasing to win the game in the end, score the two goals – I thought we were worthy winners.”
This current Poole side set a new record as they eventually cruised to the league title – going without conceding for 7 straight matches – 679 minutes without a goal in Nick Hutchings’ net.
Whilst Killick would have obviously preferred to have kept a cleansheet, he still waxed lyrical about the impressive record at such a key part of the year:
“We were quite keen to try and have a cleansheet today, but we felt we should have been able to do it with the formation and the personnel that we had.
“The goal we conceded was disappointing to say the least, but I think [that there is] unbelievable credit to the group of players for keeping those cleansheets.
“For me, the biggest thing is not the cleansheets – but when it occurred. To produce that, when it matters so, so much, to me, that’s the telling thing.
“That’s the thing that speaks volumes for the players, in terms of mentally, how they’ve dealt with things, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Whilst Alan Connell hasn’t exactly set the world alight in terms of goals scored, not may fans would have expected to see him utilised so deep – but Killick is unsure if that is the best position for him, or whether he will be at the club come August:
“I don’t know. We have to see. It’s the end of the season, we have to talk to people about what’s going to happen next year, we have to make decisions about that.
“I was just pleased – Alan’s had a frustrating season, and I probably feel it’s been a little bit unfair in some aspects, that he hasn’t had more opportunities. I’m sort of aware of that.
“ I was glad to see him get some pitch time on Tuesday, and score the goal, then get some more pitch time today. Because I think the thing with Alan is, that he is so well liked and respected by me and his team-mates.
“They’re all willing him to do well, they all want to see him out of the pitch. So it’s just nice that the last two games, that happened and I’m sorry, perhaps, that he didn’t get the opportunities he might have deserved earlier in the season.”
One player definitely leaving is Jack Dickson, who sets off to the USA in July for a scholarship in New Hampshire.
A player that has come up the ranks, Killick is obviously sad to see him go – but stated that he wouldn’t stand in the way of the player’s future:
“Very [disappointed.] But, it’s one of those things where you have mixed feelings, because he’s got a great opportunity to go to America, and achieve good things.
“And you don’t want to be obstructive in any way related to that, but you saw today, with so much ability and such a young age, I feel in the Conference South next year, he could have made a really good impact.
I” fully respect the decision that he’s made, I think it’s a great opportunity for him, and he’s another lad that is so, so popular with the group, we just hope that he goes on and does well.”
On a slightly more positive note, Lewis Lindsay scored his first Poole goal – with fans surprised to see the defender/midfielder upfront – but Killick was unrevealing when quizzed about his reasoning:
“I can’t go into too much detail, but there was some reasoning being where he was playing, and I think he enjoyed himself! He’s scored a goal, and as I say, I can’t go into too much detail, but the whole squad are very happy about it!”
Lindsay himself was a lot less coy, revealing the true reason why that goal meant to much to him – and his teammates:
“All season now, Eddie Mitchell has been badgering on to me – he keeps on trying to give me a goal bonus for £100, £200 and I just haven’t scored in so long. And then he said to me today, if I score two, he’ll give £500. He’s already put £500 into the kitty for the night out, he’d double it if I scored two goals. So the lads on the coach were saying to Tommy, put me up top, put me up top. Walks [Michael Walker] said to him ‘how much for one goal?’ and he said [Eddie Mitchell] £200 – so, wacked me up top and I managed to bag one and an assist!”
“After I missed that one-on-one, I wasn’t too sure – or confident, to be fair. But obviously, when the chance came, I just put it in the back of the net. I’m glad we got the three points – even though the league is done, it’s important to keep the high standards we’ve kept all season.”