Eve aims high with Spennymoor
Dale Eve has warned Spennymoor Town are hungry for promotion glory ahead of the new Vanarama National League North campaign.
After an enforced absence because of the Covid-19 crisis, the various Vanarama National leagues, featuring several Bermudians, finally returned this week with Eve’s Spennymoor Town, Justin Donawa’s Darlington and Keziah Martin’s Kidderminster Harriers kicking off their seasons in the North League today.
While all will be aspiring towards promotion, Spennymoor have added incentive after their challenge last season was halted by a projected points calculation utilised after the suspension of remaining league fixtures in April.
This resulted in Gateshead being handed a place in the play-offs at the expense of Spennymoor.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the play-offs through no fault of their own, Bermuda’s No 1 revealed the setback has made the entire squad even more determined to fulfil their promotion ambition this time around, starting with today’s visit of Farsley Celtic.
“The manager, Jason Ainsley, and the entire squad are expecting to have a good go at it this season and be fighting for promotion,” Eve said.
“The manager has been in this division for a while now and you can see there’s that desire to get out of it.
“I think that’s the case with the whole squad; I’ve seen that hunger since the first day of pre-season.
“We have an unbelievably strong squad on paper, but we have to show that we’re not just a strong side on paper.”
The club enjoyed the perfect preparation for the new campaign after securing a 3-1 victory in an FA Cup second-round qualifying tie away to Bradford Park Avenue.
While Eve was delighted to seal progression, he is well aware the early season could throw up some shock results with the full effects of the Covid-19 layoff on each club still not known.
“After being away from competitive action for so long, it was great to come back and get a result in the FA Cup,” he added.
“However, despite the good start to the season, the enforced break because of Covid-19 could make things a little unpredictable.
“It will be a different season for everyone, but we have to get through it. We’ll also have to contend with being one of the teams that others will be out to beat and the possibility of more injuries because of the lack of a normal amount of football at this stage of the year.
“All we can do is just go out and do what we can in every game to try and achieve our aims.”
Not only did the Covid-19 crisis have a significant effect on the club’s promotion challenge, it also hampered Eve’s own progression at establishing himself at the County Durham-based outfit, having signed in February.
After biding his time initially on joining the club, the 25-year-old’s patience was finally rewarded as he made an instant impact in a handful of appearances before the season was suspended indefinitely because of the Covid-19 crisis.
However, with action set to resume, Eve is determined to pick up where he left off, showcase his full potential and cement his position as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
“The manager has shown faith in me throughout pre-season and I think I’ve played well, so hopefully that No 1 spot is mine to lose for the time being,” he said. “However, I know how quickly things can change in football, so I have to remain focused and always be ready to prove a point and show my ability in every performance.”
Meanwhile, in the same division, Donawa’s Darlington travel to Fylde today while Martin’s Kidderminster Harriers host Chester. Compatriot Milan Butterfield is due to kick off his domestic campaign as Chesterfield host Hartlepool United in the Vanarama National League. All matches kick off at 3.45pm Bermuda time.
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