We’ve reached the half way stage of the season and with the busy festive period coming, Off The Park spoke to Bootle fan Neil.

Thoughts on the season so far?

Well its been a first half of the season split into two halves really, the Joe Doran era and the Brian Richardson era.

The first part wasn’t great for one reason and another but we should remember that in the six league games we played yes we lost five but four of them were by one goal, there is very fine margins at this level and a few of them games we could easily have picked up a draw or a victory.

Since Brian Ricardson came in he’s given everyone at the club a much-needed boost, the form and performance levels have been really good and his record of 25 points from 13 games played is form that would get you into a playoff spot.

So at the moment, we are doing ok, a few wins and you can move up the league pretty quickly but a few defeats and you can slide down it equally as quick.

Worst/moment of the season & why?

Well we took a right hiding at Clitheroe at the end of August and even at that early stage some of us were panicking about what lay ahead.

It’s funny because the worst moment and the best moment of the season so far probably came in the same game.

FC United in the FA Cup after scoring a last-minute equaliser to force a draw and a replay, we travelled to Manchester for the return, the highs and lows of football packed together in the space of 20-odd minutes.

Despite FCUM being massive favourites for the game Paul Foy put the Bucks 2-1 up with twenty minutes to go, there was about 250 Bootle fans baying the referee to blow up as we were already in stoppage time, the lads had given everything and were out on their feet and FCUM scored on 93 and 97 and there was no way back for the Bucks.

The lads were applauded off the pitch by both sets of fans, the FC fans were congratulating us and telling us we deserved to win the game, an immensely proud night for the club.

Signing of the season

A tough one as a lot of Brian’s signings have only recently came into the club, Brian likes to rotate his squad so we probably haven’t seen enough of a lot of lads to date.

One player who has impressed myself is Jay Roberts, Jay was brought to the club just by Joe Doran just before he resigned and he’s been an inspired signing.

The fan base was devastated when Kieran Halligan left the club, a great servant to Bootle FC, a great player and a great lad so it was going to take a really good player to fill Kieran’s boots but Jay has slotted in superbly and is everything you want from a modern-day full-back.

Current player of the season & why?

Without out being disrespectful to any of the lads there can only be one winner here and that’s Ben Hodkinson, when you score 20 goals with over a week left to open on your advent calendar its hard to look past Ben.

Ben is a tremendous player who works so hard for the team and I’m sure he’s the first to appreciate the contribution of his team mates.

Realistic ambitions for the rest of the season

It’s quite simply got to be the playoffs, we are only six points off there at the minute so no reason why we can’t get in the mix, we’ve drawn with Workington who will be right up there come to the end of the season but it’s all about that consistency and going on a run of games and I think what will decide if we make the playoffs or not will be the results against the other teams in the mix, it’s important you can take points out of them games against the likes of Clitheroe, Leek Town, Runcorn and Trafford.

[Featured image: WGriff.Photo]

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