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  • Writer's pictureRob Stevens

Russell Taylor wants Virginia Water F.C. Reserves to build on foundations after EBFL switch

PICTURE: The Virginia Water Reserves team which continued its unbeaten start in the East Berkshire League Premier Division with a 2-1 win at home against Pundit on Saturday.

Virginia Water F.C. Reserves manager Russell Taylor aims to build on foundations already laid and continue to promote young and talented players into the first team this season.

The Reserves side found results difficult to come by last season but, a highlight for the club was the progression of players into the first team set up – namely Josh Blakebrough and Seb D’Aversa.

The club has now joined the East Berkshire League, a most welcome recruit as a part of the new era for the league and is looking forward to the exciting challenge of more competitive football this season.

And, although Taylor admits the side might not be challenging towards the top in the Premier Division right away, he as ambition to continue to build on foundations laid at the club and continue to produce young talent.

Taylor explained: “Last season was a tough one for the Reserves. With only three or four players from the previous seasons squad, it was pretty much a full rebuild. We retained only three or four players from the previous season.

“As a club, we decided to run a Reserves side based around younger players with a platform to push them into our first team set up. In this regard it was a successful season. Two players, in Josh and Seb, started with the Reserves but made the step up to become regular first team starters.

“A particular highlight was convincingly beating the eventual champions of our league last season and seeing several of our younger players step up and make their first team debuts.

“Our aim this season will be to continue to get players in and around our first team set up. We already have one or two we believe that, in time, will make that step. Our ambition is to do better than last season in terms of results and build on the foundations laid in the previous 12 months.

“Our biggest asset is the set up at the club, we work closely with our first team colleagues and train alongside each other. We will take the lessons of a tough first team and use these to improve and be competitive in this new league.”

Taylor continued: “We’re delighted that the league has a bigger constitution, and it is one of the reasons we made the move across. We will aim to perform better in the league and hope to go deep into a few competitions.

“It’s too early in the season to be making predictions. We know that teams such as Old Windsor, Southcote and Singh Sabha will be strong. We're certainly not looking at the top end of the table as there are a lot of unknown teams to us as a club. Once we get to December and see how our start to the season has gone, we can set some aims moving forward.

“We’re looking forward to being a part of the re-growth of the EBFL. We know numbers have declined over the last few years but, it is clear to see the new Management Committe are committed to growing the league further over the next few seasons.”

Taylor also gave special mention to his assistant, Joe Hutchins, who he described as a calm head in the set up as well as a great person and a massive help since joining last season in coaching the Reserves team.

Virginia Water Reserves has made a near perfect start to life in the EBFL with four wins and a draw from their opening five matches in the Premier Division, meaning the newcomers are behind only Old Windsor after the opening five weeks in the season.

The two sides lock horns again next Saturday (2pm kick off), but this time in the First Round of the League Cup – one of two all-Premier Division ties as the internal Cup Competition gets under way.

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


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