Holleran brands schedule as ‘bananas’ after lengthy trips

Ben Mackey shields the ball from Ollie Knowles during Brakes' clash at Frome on Saturday. Picture: Sally Ellis
Ben Mackey shields the ball from Ollie Knowles during Brakes' clash at Frome on Saturday. Picture: Sally Ellis
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Leamington boss Paul Holleran has hit out at the Southern League fixture planners after his side were forced to follow Saturday’s trip to Frome with a journey to Hitchin 48 hours later.

A point apiece from the fixtures left Brakes top of the league, albeit temporarily as Poole and Chippenham both overhauled them on Tuesday night.

However, after seeing his side surrender a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in Hertfordshire on Monday night, Holleran was clear where the blame lied for their failure to hang on to the points.

“We’ve come through [the two games] undefeated but we’ve let both teams off the hook,” said Holleran.

“As much as it was tired legs in the second half on Monday, it was also tired minds.

“This league is absolutely relentless. The players don’t stop.

“We’ve had seven hours on the coach on Saturday 
followed by another five hours on Monday night.

“It’s bananas. It’s not fair on the players or the supporters.”

The schedule shows no sign of easing up soon, with tomorrow’s home clash with Merthyr Tydfil being followed by the visit of Bishops Cleeve in the Red Insure Cup on Tuesday night.

That clash will be one of nine for the club in October, but Holleran did admit there would be some benefits to the increased workload.

“With the Red Insure Cup and the Birmingham Senior Cup games coming up, it does give us a chance to get some minutes into the likes of Jamie Tank, James Fry and Rob Ogleby, who are all coming back from injury.”

Ross Oulton will be another to get much-needed game time after a one-off appearance for Daventry Town.

“He hasn’t been able to get his season going and we wanted to get a competitive 90 minutes into him,” added Holleran.

 As part of tomorrow’s Non-League Day, Brakes will be putting on free coaching sessions for youngsters on the training pitch from noon, with Ben Mackey, Richard Taundry and Tony Breeden on hand to lend their expertise.

There will also be a signing session from 1pm.