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Ellesmere Rangers - Report and Reaction
Cowan satisfied with Bucks trip to the Meresiders

Bucks manager Gavin Cowan expressed his satisfaction with the team’s opening public pre-season game, a 6-0 win at Ellesmere Rangers on Saturday.

“I said to the players that if I’d had to do a blueprint for today and how I wanted it to go then that would probably have been it, really. A good result, good tempo, lots of physical work, and no injuries.”

Asked what he had learned from the day, Cowan said:

“We had a few players playing out of position today, because I want to see what they’re like, maybe seeing what people are like defensively because I know what they’re like going forward. We got the best-case scenarios today, I learned some things about my trialists, and my signed players too, the lads came through with flying colours and no injuries, so that was all a real plus.”

Had pre-season so far and the physical condition in which the players had returned to action been good?

“Where we’ve been is that we’ve been taking them right up, into the clouds, in terms of their workload, and then on Thursday we brought it down again because we knew everyone was going to do 45 (minutes) today. No-one did more than 45 minutes today, because it’s about building up, making sure everyone’s conditioning is right and that we’re on track.”

The Bucks featured a number of trialists, Cowan making numerous changes to his line-up at the half-time interval on what was a very hot day in North Shropshire. Had those trialists given him food for thought?

“What I’ve promised all of them is three games. They’ll have today, they’ll have the Market Drayton game and they’ll have a trialists game the day after that. If there’s something there that we like then they’ll carry on with pre-season, if not we’ll be honest with them and give them a chance to look elsewhere.”

Two of those trialists were Jack Rea and Matthew Barnes-Homer, both well-known to Bucks fans - did that promise also apply to them?

“Barnesy and Jack asked to come in because they’re looking to get fit and to find clubs, and of course them know me personally, and they know they’re going to get the right conditioning. They’re great lads, and there’s no problem having them in and around the group. They’re looking for clubs and they understand my mentality and my professionalism.”

But in so far as deals or promises for next season for the pair, nothing had been mooted?

“No, nothing like that. Both want to make sure they have a good pre-season and they trust me and know what I’m about, and the levels they need to be at if they’re going to get a club. It’s just great to have them around, they’re both great lads and they can also rub off on some of the younger lads as well.”

Finally, Cowan had some closing words for the Bucks’ hosts for the day, Ellesmere Rangers:

“They’ve just been magnificent, from start to finish. When they asked to come down here, straight away it was a ‘yes’, and they’ve got great facilities. It’s a lovely little set-up, they’ve been very accommodating and couldn’t have done any more for us, we’d really like to do it again next year. The management team have been brilliant, and all of the people behind the club too; to say they’ve been accommodating probably isn’t a good enough word for them, they’ve gone above and beyond, even to putting the England game on in the bar and with the food, it’s been a good day.”

The Bucks are next in action at Market Drayton Town on Tuesday (10th July), kicking off at 7.45pm, and their first home pre-season game is next Saturday (14th July), when EFL Championship side Aston Villa will provide the opposition, kick-off scheduled for 3pm.

Report & Interview: Richard Worton (@Buckswriter)

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