Moneyfields Reserves confident of mixing it with the best in 2021/22 Hampshire Premier League Senior Division
Moneyfields Reserves boss Lee Mould is eagerly anticipating the challenges of next season’s Hampshire Premier League Senior Division campaign.
Moneys, along with Denmead, were earlier this week officially promoted to the top flight after possessing the best two points-per-game records based on results since the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
For Moneys, it means their reserves are now just two divisions below their first team in the non-league pyramid - compared to the four tier gap in the last two seasons.
That should mean more reserve players getting a first team chance.
Moneys never lost a HPL Division 1 game, winning 22 of their 24 games across two seasons and drawing the other two under ex-boss Paul O’Rielly.
Now a mainly young side are hoping to challenge the likes of Paulsgrove, Fleetlands, Locks Heath and Hayling United at the top of the Senior Division in 2021/22.
‘It was a bit of a landslide for the team (in Division 1),’ said Mould, who was in charge of US Portsmouth reserves for the last two years.
‘Next season will be tougher week in week out.’
Mould has brought George Molyneaux, Kieran Dowell and Toby Toman with him to Dover Road, three players who helped USP reserves finish second behind Wimborne Town Reserves in the 2020/21 Hampshire Combination Premier Division.
He will also promote some of the Moneys under-18s who finished fourth in the Hampshire Development U18 East division into his HPL squad.
‘There were a lot of good footballing sides in the Wyvern,’ said Mould, ‘which was good for youth development.
‘The Hampshire Premier is going to be a lot more physical and it will be good to see how the youngsters cope.’
Mould admits his squad are confident of a good season in the top flight next term, especially after beating Locks, Fleetlands and Hayling in the post-lockdown HPL supplementary cup, topping what was easily – on paper anyway – the toughest group.
‘I certainly don’t think they’ve got anything to fear,’ said the boss. ‘The players think they can do well and I’d back them up on that.’
Mould, meanwhile, has revealed his reserves will generally play the same 3-5-2 formation favoured by first team boss Glenn Turnbull.
‘That makes it easier if players step up to the first team - it can be nervous enough stepping up as it is, and sometimes there’s a change of formation.
‘This way it’s a bit more seamless.’
‘Glenn likes to work with a 20-22 man squad but he can only 16 on a matchday so others could filter down to me. Similarly, if any of my players are pulling up trees I can recommend them to Glenn.
‘That’s how it should work at every club, and that’s what Moneys have prided themselves on in the past.’
Mould’s first friendly is against Fleetlands Reserves this weekend, but tougher friendlies are planned against the first teams of higher level Andover New Street, Bagshot and Wick.
Midfielder Jacob Payne - who played for Moneys reserves last term - has left the club and is training with Wessex Premier newcomers Hythe & Dibden. The Watersiders are managed by Louis Bell, who was on the coaching staff at Moneys last term.