‘If we don't finish in the top three I’ll run naked in Portsmouth!’ insists Mid-Solent League manager
Harvest Home are hoping a third successive Mid-Solent League title this season will be their last.
Manager Ray Ogilvie is targeting promotion to the Hampshire Premier League for a squad that ‘are too good for the standard we are currently playing at.’
That stats bear that out. Harvest have rattled off 10 straight league wins this term, scoring 64 goals and conceding just three.
Last season they only lost one game en route to a second Mid-Solent title in succession.
‘In all honesty if we were in the Premier Division of the Hampshire League with this squad I’d fancy us to finish top 10, possibly top five,’ said Ogilvie.
‘We played Liss’ first team in a friendly in the summer and beat them 5-0, and we beat Hayling’s first team 3-1 - they’re both Hampshire Premier teams.
‘We also played a team from Wales who were Wessex 1 standard and we beat them 8-3.’
Ogilvie admits only FC Strawberry can realistically deny Harvest another league title.
The Strawbs will be just three points adrift if they win their game in hand, having suffered just one loss - a 2-1 defeat to Harvest in September.
‘If we lose to Strawberry in the return game then I imagine it will go down to goal difference,’ said Ogilvie.
‘I think in order to go up the Hampshire Premier League we need to finish in the top three.
‘If we don’t do that, I will run naked through Portsmouth!
‘Most of my squad are capable of playing in the Hampshire Premier.
‘My captain Steve Harris has the full respect of the players, and up front Nathan Newer is a silent assassin.
‘He played for me when I ran the Co-op Dragons Sunday League team a few years ago when we won the quadruple. I think he scored 49 goals that season.
‘I’ve got a 26-man squad and my job is to keep them all interested.
‘We’ve got quality but we’ve also got great spirit - a real togetherness.’
In addition to the league title, Harvest are still in three cups.
Last weekend they advanced to the last 16 of the Hampshire Vase - the new name for the Junior A Cup which they won last season.
They are also through to the quarter finals of both the Mid-Solent League Len Day and Father Purcell Cups.
In the Len Day, they have been drawn away to FC Strawberry and in the Father Purcell they have been drawn away to Meon Milton.
‘The Hampshire Vase is the one I really want,’ said Ogilvie, whose side won 5-2 at Bournemouth Electric in the third round last weekend with top scorer Newer hitting a hat-trick.
‘They were a good side - strong, well organised, dominant in the air,’ Ogilvie said.
‘We had to be patient rather than just hitting long balls.
‘Credit to my lads, our quality shone through in the end.
‘It was the sort of game I want us to have every week.’