Feniton have been given a tough start to their life as a step seven team playing in the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League North & East Division.
Indeed, with 15 teams in the division and therefore a 28-match league campaign, Feniton face as many as six league games in just 17 days in August – three home and three away – and yet, if all goes to plan, the final league game for the Acland Park men will be when they travel to face Braunton on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
There’s also a break for Christmas at this level with Feniton set to play Clyst Valley away on December 18 after which they will have a 21-day break before resuming their league season on January 8 with an Acland Park meeting with University.
We caught up with Feniton boss James Hiscox and first up asked him for his view on what looked a ‘frantic start’.
He said: “We haven’t been given a reason for the hectic schedule, but I would imagine they are worried about the winter months with wet weather often a ‘player’ in the season and, in the back of the minds of the good folk who are charged with setting the fixtures up, I suspect they do have to consider another bout of covid problems which would mean their scheduling for an early March finish is actually very prudent and there’s time left for the league to be completed if those later weeks in March and the month of April are called into action.”
He added: “I’m sure we will have plenty of games called off with Covid still about.”
Next up we asked for his views on the fixture scheduling that means they play their first game – something of an honour as their game at Newtown on Friday, August 13 with a 6.30pm kick-off is actually the opening game of the season – the other matches take place the following day. Feniton then have a number of midweek home games and do not play their first Saturday afternoon game before the Acland Park faithful until Saturday, September 4 when they entertain Clyst Valley.
The Feniton boss says: “With regard to Saturday games we do have a clash with cricket and the use of Acland Park which means Saturday home games cannot happen until late August and so it’s good of the fixture scheduling that they do factor in these midweek dates.”
With regard to the three games in six August days – Feniton meet Exwick Villa at home on Wednesday, August 25, then travel three days later for a Saturday, August 28 game in Exeter against Heavitree United and, 48 hours later Fenny are tasked with an Acland Park meeting with Topsham Town.
James Hiscox says: “The three games in six short days is interesting and will be a challenge for sure, but this is why we have a squad the size that we do for, over the season, everyone will need to play their part in these games.
“What we need to do is make sure we take all these challenge face on, and make sure we are ready for whatever is thrown our way. We have a tough start, but hey, we need to embrace everything about our life as a step seven club.”
There’s no game at Christmas for Feniton and we asked the Acland Park chief what he felt about there being no festive fixtures.
He replied saying: “Christmas is a time when I always enjoy getting out and catching a game on Boxing day and the games around it and now, being at step seven, I figured we may well have taken part in some festive football, but it is not to be – for now.”
There’s plenty of local derbies with matches against Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth Town Reserves, Clyst Rovers and Topsham Town.
The Feniton boss says: “We are really looking forward to the local derbies as they add spice to the schedule and, with one of our player’s dad’s being the joint manager of Budleigh Salterton, it all adds to the occasions – they will be special games to be involved in. What’s more I am very confident that the local derby matches will draw good crowds.”
He continued: “The lads will enjoy playing under the lights at Exmouth Town. With regard to the back-to-back games [Feniton meet Exmouth Town Reserves on September 22 in a midweek away game and then, on October 2nd, they host the same opposition] I’d have to say that I am not a fan of playing a team back-to-back. I know these things do happen and so as I have already said, we will be well prepared and give it our best shot.”
Feniton also have back-to-back games with North Molton and the Fenny manager says: “North Molton are, like us, new boys to this division and it will be interesting to see how they get on at this level. We had a friendly against them last season and they certainly have a great set-up up there. On the day, they beat is 2-1 and it will good to meet them twice in league games this coming season.”
Rounding things off, the Feniton boss said: “As an over view of the fixtures, it is, most certainly a difficult start, but that’s what we expected with stepping up.
“We just have to take each game as they come and see where that take us. We are ambitious and will be looking to finish as high in the division as we can.”
The Feniton fixtures in the North East Division of the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League are
|Sep 4||H||CLYST VALLEY|
|22||A||Exmouth Town Reserves|
|Oct 2||H||EXMOUTH TOWN RESERVES|
|Dec 4||A||Budleigh Salterton|
|22||A||North Molton Sports Club|
|Feb 5||H||NORTH MOLTON SPORTS CLUB|