Appleby keeps Fenmen eager during lay-off

Manager Steve Appleby said his major task has been keeping his Wisbech Town troops interested while they were clicking their boot studs waiting for the weather for improve.

Downpours have decimated Wisbech’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Christmas and New Year programme, losing their last two fixtures at Ely and on Saturday at home to Mildenhall Town when parts of the Elgood’s Fenland Stadium pitch remained unfit for play.

Appleby said of when games are postponed: “We have to do two things: get a bit of rest for the lads, which works in our favour; and keep the team ticking over.

“The hardest part is the frustration of not being able to play, and you have to get them somewhere where they can do something.

“You’ve got to make training enjoyable as well. Not everyone’s a good trainer, and you have got to keep them interested.

“We’ve had to find a facility because the pitch is just too wet. We got in at Lynnsport (King’s Lynn) this Saturday and at the Hudson Centre (Wisbech) the week before.”

However, Appleby revealed it is not the worst the weather has been during his tenure in charge: “In my first full season we had one game in November and didn’t play again until New Year’s Day.

“Sometimes it will work for you – you can go on a run and then the games can’t come quickly enough.”

Steve Reid and Neal Spafford were suspended for last night’s Cambs Invitation Cup quarter-final tie at March; the duo return for Saturday’s Thurlow Nunn Premier trip to Thetford. Appleby should have everyone fit bar Fenmen captain Paul Cousins, who trained at the weekend.

“We’re waiting to see if there’s any reaction,” said Appleby on his skipper.

Stacy Cartwright has successfully come through after playing one game following a back injury.

With two games this week, Appleby added: “We’ll just give people game time and change it again on Saturday. We’ve beaten Thetford twice already but this season they’ve come up from the league below. They will be strong, especially at their place.”

Appleby will want three points on the board as the following week Wisbech are out of league action in the FA Vase at Gornal.