‘It says a lot about our younger players and the squad we’ve got’ – Joe Lea on Gosport Borough’s promising start to 2021/22
Gosport Borough's Joe Lea could not be happier with both his personal form and that of the team following a fine start to the season.
Boro have stormed to second in the Southern League Premier South table, having collected four wins from their opening five matches.
Lea has played a crucial role in the fine start, featuring in six of Gosport's seven games in all competitions so far.
The former Southampton youth product started out in the right-back role he has been accustomed to playing in recent years in the opening couple of fixtures.
However, Boro boss Shaun Gale has also utilised him in a midfield role and Lea repaid that faith with a double in last month's 3-0 league win over Chesham.
And Lea is hopeful both he and Gosport can continue on the current trajectory in which they find themselves on.
He said: 'We've started really well, four wins out five, and obviously progressing in the cup (FA Cup) as well.
'On a personal note, I've started the season playing in midfield which I've really enjoyed, I've scored a couple of goals which was nice as well.
'I've been playing right-back now for quite a while but I always played in midfield growing up. I started off at Gosport as a midfield player and it's been really nice for me to get back in there, especially in a slightly more advanced midfield position.
'I've had a lot of the ball and got in around the box so I've really enjoyed it.'
Lea has been impressed how the Boro squad have stepped up despite injuries to a number of key players.
Both Rory Williams and striker Bradley Lethbridge returned to get minutes in the midweek League Cup defeat to Winchester.
But Mike Carter, Matt Paterson (knee) and Harry Kavanagh (collarbone) all remain sidelined.
Lea said: 'We've got quite a strong squad when you look at the players we've had injured as well, players like Rory Williams, Carts (Mike Carter), Matt Paterson.
‘It says a lot about our younger players and the squad that we've got that we've been able to get these results without them.
'When you consider the fixtures we've had as well, there have been some really difficult games in there. Poole are always a strong team, Weston away is really tough, Chesham are a team who are always difficult to play against - games like that are always tough at this level.
'To have got the amount of points that we've got is really good.’
Gosport were home to Yate Town in the league this weekend and then, after a midweek trip to Swindon Supermarine, Borough and Yate meet again the following Saturday in the FA Cup second qualifying round.