Round-up - Dynamos' new manager Steve Bateman looking forward to the challenge
News from Aylesbury United and Risborough Rangers
New manager Steve Bateman is pleased to be back and looking forward to the challenge of his second spell with Aylesbury Vale Dynamos after taking over from Phil Granville.
There are still several familiar faces from last time around, when he managed the club from 2013 to 2016 and led them to lifting the prestigious Berks and Bucks Senior Cup for the first time in their history.
And as well as meeting all the new faces, including chairman Mike Borrett, he is impressed with what he has seen in his first couple of weeks back at Haywood Way.
“I’m hoping to make a difference on the pitch, to match the changes going on off it,” said the 56-year-old.
“There’s lots of fresh ideas, the club is run in a very professional way and it’s good to see it on a sustainable and forward thinking path.
“My challenge is to get things moving on the pitch and I’m enjoying it.”
He said when he left after his first spell at Aylesbury – in which his two sons also played for him – he felt he had taken the club as far as he could and as far as finances would allow.
He later returned to his old club Berkhamsted, the first team he had managed back in 2000 and was most recently assistant to Lee Bircham at Step 2 club Hemel Hempstead Town in National League South.
“I was pleased when the club (Dynamos) reached out to me, they were in the same scenario and the question was raised, what if..?
“They have a good group of young players in the team who just need a little more guidance, confidence and know-how.
“They had a really good 5-0 win over Broadfields United, then lost 6-0 to New Salamis but then another good win 2-0 at Dunstable, keeping a clean sheet, so everyone was back with a smile of their face.
“I have not changed a great deal in terms of personnel, it’s not as if we are bottom of the table and wondering where our next point is coming from. It’s really about building foundations for a serious go next season in terms of getting out of this league.
“I’m not convinced this season is beyond salvaging, it’s a tough ask but if the group respond and additions we will see what happens.
“I’ve seen everybody in action now and watching the Under-18s there are some lads developing nicely, so the challenge is getting them into the first team at the right time.
“Some of the youngsters coming through have been with the club since Under-7s, so it’s good they have an allegiance and will want to see it through getting into the first team here rather than anywhere else locally.”
Bateman had a successful non-league career, playing for several clubs he has since managed, including Chesham United and Slough Town.
Having taken early retirement he has time to concentrate on his new role, combined with another sporting passion of playing at Ashridge Golf Club.
Davis Haule returns to the club from Risborough Rangers as assistant player/manager. Dynamos have also signed defender Jon Munday, central midfielder Roy Byron from Dunstable and Danny Murphy, a left back from Berkhamsted.
But disappointingly they lost 1-0 at Arlesey Town on Saturday. This week sees trips to leaders Leighton Town on Saturday and Harefield United on Tuesday.
The U18s floodlit team won 3-2 at Berkhamsted U18s in a feisty encounter with two goals from Charlie Cawston and a header from Jude Guest-Brainch.
Risborough Rangers were bidding to maintain their 42-game unbeaten league run and drew 2-2 with improving Oxhey Jets, thanks to an early goal by Marcus Wyllie and a late equaliser by Brian Haule.
Then it’s a big FA Vase (1st Round) game on Saturday hosting Long Melford from Suffolk.
Second-placed Rangers are also at home next Tuesday (26th) in another league encounter entertaining Flackwell Heath in a tasty local derby at 7.45pm.
Last weekend they enjoyed a 3-0 win at fourth-placed New Salamins in North London.
Welcoming back from injury influential centre back, Josh Urqhuart, Rangers’ second-half goals came from a Marcus Wyllie penalty, Ben Sturgess and Sam Pekun.
Risborough will be continuing their campaign without First Team Coach Paul Bonham, who has just been announced as manager of fellow league leaders Leighton Town.
A statement on Risborough's website says: "Paul has been a big part of the Risborough family and he has played a significant role in the teams successes in recent years.
We have nothing but respect for Paul, for his professionalism as a coach and for his character as a person.
From everyone associated with Risborough Rangers we would like to thank Paul for his hard work and dedication to the club and to wish him the very best in his new role."
Aylesbury United head to fifth-placed St Neots Town this weekend on the back of two good wins in Southern League Division One Central.
In a 5-1 midweek victory over Wantage Town, goals came from Lee Stobbs, a Jake Bewley penalty, Harry Jones, Rico Greco on his debut and Ty Deacon.
Then, strengthened by the inclusion of Dave O’Connor in midfield, Ducks won 2-1 on Sunday thanks to strikes by Mark Riddick and Max Hercules, leapfrogging Ware into seventh place in the table.