Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson to miss season opener at Fareham Town - and two more matches

Baffins Milton Rovers will get their Wessex League Premier Division season under way without manager Shaun Wilkinson on the touchline.

By Lewis Mason
Monday, 2nd August 2021, 11:54 am
Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 130721-48)
Baffins Milton Rovers boss Shaun Wilkinson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 130721-48)

The Rovers boss, formerly of Brighton and Hawks as a player, serves the second of a four-match stadium ban handed to him after receiving a red card last season.

It means Wilkinson, who served a 56-day ban last term for an offensive social media post, will not be present for his side's campaign curtain-raiser at Fareham Town tomorrow night (7.45pm).

The Baffins boss will also miss Saturday's FA Cup extra-preliminary round trip to Tadley Calleva and his team’s league trip to Bournemouth (August 14).

In fact, Wilkinson will not be present on the touchline until the meeting with neighbours Moneyfields (August 18).

The 39-year-old admitted it's far from an ideal situation to start the season, but stressed he has total trust in his coaching staff to take control - led by assistant manager Danny Thompson for the opening three fixtures this term.

Wilkinson said: ‘I’m looking forward to it but disappointed I can’t be there for the first three games. I think the last time I was on the touchline was November.

‘I’ll pick the team and preparation and everything has been done by me, but I’m just not there on match-day. I’ll be in contact to see what’s going on.

‘I’ve got good staff at the club now who are capable - they’ve been managers so they know what they’re doing.

‘The lads trust them, I trust them, it’s just one of these things it’s a ban carried over and there’s not a lot I can do about.

‘The lads know what’s expected of them, they know how tough it’s going to be, pre-season has gone okay for us but it’s pre-season.

‘This is money week, it’s business time, we want to get some points on the board.’

Summer signing Oscar Johnston, Josh Warren and Rhys Lloyd have all picked up knocks ruling them out of the trip to Fareham.

Miles Everett remains a doubt for what Wilkinson is viewing as an extremely tricky opening test at Cams Alders this season.

Wilkinson added: ‘We couldn’t have asked for a tougher start, Fareham were one of the best teams I saw last year, Pete (Stiles) has done a fantastic job over there. They love playing for him.

‘The one thing you’re going to get over there is a tough game. They all work hard, they run for each other, they’ve been together a few years.

‘We’ve got to go there, be solid, obviously we’re the away team so we’re going to experience and come under a lot of pressure.’