Ilford captain Jacobs insists heading in right direction of long-term success is the goal
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 August 2020
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Ilford captain Nigel Jacobs insists the main thing for his side is that they’re heading in the right direction rather than worrying about chasing the league title this season.
Jacobs and his young side are making the short trip to local rivals South Woodford on Saturday as they head into the final four fixtures in the shortened 2020 campaign.
The skipper wants to make sure they build a strong squad for the future to allow them to compete if they can earn promotion back to the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division in the coming years.
“I’m looking forward to being captain for the next two or three years, but by the end of that time I’m hoping to be like a Chelmsford or Wanstead & Snaresbrook where they have 15 or 16 players that are good enough to play for the first team,” Jacobs said.
“If people are on holiday or having weddings to attend, the team will be strong enough on a Saturday. We are going to try winning all four games. The Chingford game the week after next will be interesting, but I think the main thing for us is that we’re going in the right direction.
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“I think we were promoted in 2009 so until 2019 we had about 10 years in the Premier League. We’ve flirted with relegation in nine of those, despite having Hendro (Puchert), Ashar Zaidi, Aron Nijjar and several paid players. The reason is because we haven’t had enough depth and our fielding hasn’t been good enough.”
Jacobs then spoke about their next opponents, adding: “When I first came into the first team South Woodford were always Premier League standard – they had Nick Browne, Anand Patel, the Shirt brothers, obviously Harry Neicho, and it’s good to see him back playing. Maybe not for us but good for the league!”
Their fixture with Oakfield Parkonians was abandoned due to the weather after bowling their opponents out for 159.
“We knew when we got to the ground the only way we were going to get a result was if we bowled first and we bowled them out in 20-25 overs,” said Jacbos.
“At about 20 overs it looked good and we were hoping to skittle them out, then Selvam Ramasamy, who used to play for us a few years ago, batted very well.
“Once they got to 160 we knew there was very little chance of a result. It was a missed opportunity, but it was good that we pushed for it and had the right intent to win.”
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