Trojans urged to show fight
Coach Musceo Hunt has challenged his Somerset Trojans players to step up to the task of beating PHC in the Friendship Trophy tomorrow, knowing a positive result against the champions could go a long way to helping his team in their fight for survival in the Premier Division.
Over the course of the competitions history Somerset are joint record winners, tied on eleven titles with North Village and PHC.
However, Hunt is not so sure some of his players are even aware of that and other accomplishments of the team, which includes ten league and nine FA Cup titles.
“I don't think we're in a generation that recognises those types of stats,” Hunt said regrettably.
Maybe the news that their ground will host the New Year's Day final could be the extra incentive for them to turn their season around. They recently reached the Dudley Eve Trophy final where they lost to Robin Hood, however, in the league they find themselves seven points adrift at the bottom after picking up only their second draw of the season last weekend against Dandy Town.
Somerset and PHC met twice this season in early November, the Trojans winning the Dudley Eve Trophy semi-final 5-4 on penalty kicks before PHC won 3-1 in the league three days later.
“Right now we have a lot of young players back from school and that brings a bit more consistency and higher energy level to the game,” Hunt said. “All I can hope is the players find it in their hearts to come to the game, give 100 per cent, work for each other and try to elevate their game to the next level.”
Somerset are faced with having to win most of their matches in the second half of the campaign in order to climb out of the bottom two. “It's really up to the players and what they want,” the coach feels.
“It's not like we don't have numbers at training, not like we have struggled with lights at our ground to hinder our ability to train and perform at a high level. It is just coming down to the players' desire. I would say they are playing a lot better than they have been, it's just that they are missing a lot of goals which is keeping pressure on us.
“I definitely don't want us to be one of the teams going down, but everyone is accountable for their own actions. All I can do is encourage them, motivate them and give them training that is going to improve on their technical ability. They have the ability but have to believe in themselves.”
Hunt grew up proud to be a Trojans player like his father, Larry Hunt, who played for them when they were a dominant force in local football.
“To be proud to be a Trojan you have to first find out what it takes to be a Trojan,” Hunt said.
“There is a generational gap between my father's generation all the way past mine,” added Hunt who works with at-risk juveniles between the ages of 12 and 18. “There aren't many people of those age brackets involved in the operations of our clubs.”
Hunt believes societal issues have affected the environment of football, something which Andrew Bascome, coach of BAA, alluded to recently. “The main challenge has been the social issues, being aware of where we are cognitively,” he said.
“If you don't have self-belief it is going to be very difficult for you to accomplish much in life. It is really about trying to encourage the young people to be positive and mindful of wherever they are in their life right now and showing them they have the support that they need and what they are saying is falling on deaf ears.
“The whole community has dysfunctional issues, so for sure you are going to get that on the field. I'm just grateful for those players who have a high level of maturity and are able to lead by example in that way and try to encourage each other in that sense.”