/ Barnard Reflects On Season So Far
Barnard Reflects On Season So Far
On loan from Dover Athletic, young midfielder, Chris Barnard is certainly perfecting his craft during a productive spell with Margate.
Barnard has been a reliable figure during the campaign so far, but admits he and his team-mates have felt frustrated by their lack of form this season.
“I feel we've had quite an inconsistent start to the season. We've picked up some great results against Enfield, Worthing, Bognor, etc, but then dropped some very winnable points against teams like Burgess Hill and Kingstonian.”
“We know as a team that we have the quality to win more games than we have done, but we haven't quite lived up to this yet.”
“Ideally we'd be firmly in the playoffs by now, and hopefully with that little bit extra consistency and ability to graft out results, we'll get there.”
Barnard’s loan-move to Hartsdown Park has delivered on the youngster’s ambitions to forge a promising career in the non-league game.
“Coming to Margate, I hadn't initially expected to slot into the team, given the competition. But Mike and Browny have given me the chance, and I'm very grateful for the experience.”
“As said, ideally, we would be in the play-offs by now, but the ability to play 90 minutes week in, week out is invaluable at my age. With the regime change at Dover now, I'm able to train with them on a more full-time basis, and the management is more prone to giving young players a chance.”
With a number of injuries affecting the Margate squad, Barnard, Lee Prescott and fellow loan signing Jordy Robins have already notched a lot of minutes in the middle of the park, minutes Barnard believes will hold him in good stead.
“The experience I'm gaining now is something Dover were keen to see me get, and I'm really familiarising myself with men's football. Again, this is very much thanks to Mike and Browny, who have really given young players a chance to play every week and rack up minutes.”
Looking back on the season so far, Barnard picked out one particular highlight that he is desperate to help replicate again during a busy December.
“I think that the home win against Enfield, especially considering it's been years since Margate beat them, was special for myself, the team, and the fans.”
Barnard added, “It was something the fans really deserved to see at home, and I hope that as a team we can start delivering results like that again.”
After Saturday’s loss, Barnard revealed there is a hunger amongst the group to begin to draw together some good results.
“It was very disappointing indeed. The team as a whole is just sticking together, and very motivated to give a strong reaction Saturday. We know we have the quality to win games, we just need to remain strong as a unit and cut out the silly mistakes that are costing us at the moment.”
“It's been a challenging season for all of us. We've dealt with many injuries to key players, have had to adapt with a young and inexperienced squad, and dropped a fair few points very needlessly.”
“However, we've shown what we're capable of in games such as against Carshalton, Enfield, and Worthing. I'd urge fans to remember the way they felt after those games, and realise that we couldn't have done it without them.”
Barnard concluded, “We'll need their support equally much during the festive period, and I'm confident that if we all pull together, results will start going our way again!”
Purchase your tickets for Margate’s festive run of fixtures at Hartsdown Park in advance by clicking here.
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
By Charlotte Richardson