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"People had written us off" says Falmouth Town reserves boss Bryn Wheeler
Falmouth Town Reserve team manager Bryn Wheeler is a happy man, and why not?
His side are unbeaten in their last six matches and sit third in the Jolly’s Combination League, two points off leaders St Day. Not only that, but according to Wheeler, there’s a real buzz around Bickland Park at the moment.
No wonder he’s smiling. A month ago the situation didn’t look quite so rosy.
A nightmare start to the season saw Town’s reserves concede 16 goals in their opening three matches, including a nine-goal thrashing at home against St Just.
At that point the general consensus seemed to be that Town would spend the remainder of the season embroiled in a relegation battle.
Adding to their woes at the time was the weekly inconvenience of losing their best players to the club’s first team, who themselves were struggling for numbers at the time.
But the arrival of Wheeler’s long-time friend John Dent to the first team manager’s job marked a sea change in the club’s direction, and as the first team have slowly rebuilt, Wheeler’s second team have benefitted.
“People had written us off, no doubt about it,” says Wheeler. “The goal difference we had against us was phenomenal after those first few games, but we came to the conclusion that if we got the squad together that we’d assembled at the beginning of the season, we’d be OK.
“The problem was we were losing five or six players each week to the first team. If I’m brutally honest I think we were taken advantage of a bit.”
Wheeler’s relationship with former manager Robbie Stephens was, he admits, strained at times. But with Dent at the helm the reserve team boss feels the club is moving in the right direction.
“I’m good mates with Denty away from football, and I pushed for us to get him in because I knew it would benefit, not just my lot, but the whole club, which I think it has.
“No disrespect to Robbie, but any manager who’s been out of the game for five years was going to struggle. To say ‘we’re Falmouth Town, come and play for us’ might have worked ten years ago, but not any more. You have to chase players. That’s what Denty’s done. He’s very much got his finger on the pulse.”
With his team flying high and a strong squad to choose from, Wheeler’s quietly confident that Falmouth can push St Day and St Just all the way this season.
“I’d be happy with a top half finish; that would be job done,” he says. “But in my heart of hearts I think the boys we’ve got here will be aiming for a top five finish. Teams around us will take points of each other. We’ll just keep going on about our business, but there are bound to be a few surprises yet.”