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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Bradlee Greenwood hopeful Showcase Match can be the catalyst to changing Stoke Poges' fortunes in relegation battle


PICTURE: Stoke Poges were a dominant force when winning the East Berkshire League Division One title last season and, more recently, have shown some improved form in their efforts to remain in the Premier Division this year. PHOTO: Gary House


Stoke Poges manager Bradlee Greenwood believes the Showcase Match this Friday night could be the catalyst to turn their fortunes around this season.

Stoke take on Virginia Water Reserves in the first edition of the East Berkshire League Showcase Match series in 2024. The game takes place at The 1878 Stadium, the award-winning home of Burnham Football Club this Friday night (7.30pm kick off).

Poges are in a battle to avoid relegation from the Premier Division this season, but green shoots of recovery are beginning to sprout with the team winning in four of their last six matches, collecting seven valuable league points in the process.

One of those points was registered after a goalless draw away at Virginia Water Reserves in the final fixture before the Winter Break. Greenwood explained his side had to learn to play without majority possession on that occasion but, with a little bit more luck in front of goal, he believes Stoke could take all three points on Friday.

The boss explained: “It was a well-fought and tough battle in the game with Virginia Water before the Christmas break. Virginia Water are a well-drilled team and kept the ball very well. We ourselves are a side that like to keep the ball but they restricted us in this particular match, and so we learned a bit more about ourselves in the way we fought to eventually come out with a point and also a different way in which we are used to playing.

“Although we didn’t see a lot of the ball, we still felt as though we probably created the best two or three chances in the game and, on another day, they probably go in.

PICTURE: The bottom half of the Premier Division table as it currently stands with Stoke Poges second bottom but, only two points below the relegation line (bottom three).


“That game taught us a lot and we are sure that we will make it a tough battle again, and if we can limit the chances that Virginia Waters get, the same way that we did the last time, then we will give ourselves the best chance to come out with al three points.”

Greenwood added: “The Showcase Match is a great occasion for the lads and definitely something we’ve been looking forward to. We was lucky enough to have a few of these last season and every experience was a great one to be involved in.

“This game could really turn our fortunes and give us a huge boost in both belief and confidence in our push to stay up this season.”

There is now just two points separating Stoke Poges and getting their noses above the relegation line this season and Greenwood is confident that, with the fixtures upcoming, his side will still be a part of the top flight next year.

Greenwood said: “The goals that we set out were to compete in all games this season and to solidify our status in the Premier Division after being relegated back in the 2021-22 season.

“At the minute, we find ourselves in the relegation zone but, with the fixtures we’ve got coming and the teams we still have left to play, both myself and the players feel confident in our ability to keep ourselves up.

“Heading back into the E.B.F.L Premier Division after such a successful 2022-23 campaign, we knew that the games would become tougher and we would have to step up our level in order to compete with some of the best teams in the area. Apart from one or two matches this season, we feel as though we have been in every game and, on another day, we could have come out with more points than we have.”


To enter the East Berkshire Football League ahead of the 2024/25 season, or for further information about the league, or an entry form for the upcoming season, please email the team at contactebfl@gmail.com




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