Pre-match interview vs. Durham United
by Justin Smart
City versus United! It sounds like a certain derby in the Premier League, played at one of the biggest stadiums in the country. But no, this isn't a Manchester City versus United derby, this is a Durham city versus united derby, played at Leyburn Grove. More bragging rights at stake in the second Derby in three games for Durham City AFC. Your Citizens have shown glimpses of what they can do but it's up to our trusted fans to play their part In, hopefully, recording Durham City’s first win - and there is no better time to do that than derby day!
As always, Club Secretary Justin Smart had a chat with manager Wayne to get the inside scoop on his thoughts about another big game for the club:
Justin Smart - What are the things we learned from our 3-1 reverse at home to Annfield Plain last week?
Wayne Gredziak - Every game at the moment Is a learning day. Just because we are playing well and competing, it’s very easy to forget these players have only played 5 games together and they are playing against teams that have been playing together for many years. We had to start from scratch with no squad and all these players have been brought in over the last 5 weeks, so now for the first time we have the same squad of 28 players available for this Saturday that was available against Annfield Plain. With no new additions we have been able to work this week for the first time without Trialists. We are a young squad And the big thing we learnt last week is we need to stop inviting teams on and sitting back.
JS - How did our preparations go going into our 2nd derby in 3 games?
WG - We had a good turnout at training on Wednesday andit’s good to have a few players back who have been missing last few weeks but we have worked on some weaknesses in training Wednesday gone and hopefully that will be noticeable on the pitch on Saturday.
JS - What challenges await us with Durham United?
WG - Durham United are a very young side that now runs alongside the Uni and I think I’m right In saying that they all attend Durham Uni so I expect them to be full of running and a side that will want to play football. With us also being a young side, I expect our fitness levels to be on par with them so it will come down to wants it more.
JS - You mentioned last time we spoke that we have Mark Hemingway and Brandon Gredziak coming back, along with debuts for Calvin Payne and Callum Hills. Are we at full strength now to push for League survival?
WG - We had a difficult decision to make this week as we have a squad of 28 now and as you know you can only name 5 subs, so we can only name a 16 man squad but this week is the first time we have had a full squad to choose from. We decided to leave Jordon Southern out of the squad who has been brilliant since transferring from Farringdon Detachedbut he has only just come back from an ACL injury and played a full 90 minutes in the last 2 matches and in training,his groin had been sore. So instead of risking it and causing long term injury, we felt it best to rest him this Saturday and the rest of the squad was chosen with players we felt could do well and also attendance at training was another deciding factor.
JS - Any more new signings coming through the door?
WG - At the moment, we are happy with the squad size and standard of players we have in the squad, so we aren’t looking to bring anyone else in at the moment and we are now looking to work with the 28 players we have to develop and improve,rather than swapping and changing players all the time.
JS - What's your message to the Citizens this week?
WG - I think this is the first league meeting ever of Durham City And Durham United and I’m sure it will be a cracker! We had an excellent attendance last weekend, despite beingunable to deliver any much-needed points, so hoping that the supporters keep coming and keep supporting these players who are trying there hardest to get out of the relegation zone.There is a real derby feel to this match and in the premier league, the Manchester City vs. United games are always about pride and passion for their club. I’m positive the lads can rectify the wrongs we did second half last week and make Durham City AFC supporters proud of their team whateverthe result.
And there you have it straight from the horse’s mouth, Mr.Wayne Gredziak. Another massive game in store for you Citizens, come along and give us a cheer as we go in search for our first points of the season. So get yourselves down to Houghton Sports and Social Club, Leyburn Grove, DH4 5EQ. Admission is £3, £2f for concessions and kids under 16 get in free. Our new Loyalty Card scheme will make its debut this weekend, so make sure you grab hold of one and keep it safe for next home game. As always, the Citizen Cafe is available for you to buy food and refreshments, all without having to break the bank. the prices are listed on the wall next to the kitchen window inside. Don't forget to buy your raffle tickets, £1 for a strip and £2 for 3 strips. The raffle will be drawn at half time. Enjoy the game! Morior Invictus!