could ollie be the special one?

Eastbourne Borough FC (1) v Boreham Wood FC (1)
Eastbourne Borough FC (1) v Boreham Wood FC (1)
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Eastbourne Borough boss Tommy Widdrington admits he may have raised a few eyebrows when he named young defender Ollie Rowe as skipper for his first game in charge.

Senior players Matt Smart, Darren Baker and Matt Crabb all started the match at Boreham Wood but Rowe’s attitude and performances in training impressed the new boss sufficiently to get the armband.

But Widdrington insists he has not made a permanent decision on the captaincy and said he will speak to Ollie and other players, including Ben Austin, before confirming who will be skipper for the remainder of the season.

He said, “The captaincy is a big responsibility and as yet I have not made up my mind. I want to speak to Ollie face to face and then we can take it from there.

“He is young lad and has the respect of the players in the dressing room. He has gone about his business very well since myself and Alan (Kimble, head coach) arrived and he did very well at Boreham Wood.

“The decision takes nothing away from the likes of Ben Austin, Matt Smart or Darren Baker. I just felt that players like Ollie will be here a lot longer and we need to build for the future.

“I am looking to get the average age of the squad down. We have eight players over 30 in the squad and I think that is something we need to address.”

Widdrington described the performance at Boreham as ‘okay’ but says he is looking forward to his first game in charge at Priory Lane against Staines tomorrow (Saturday).

Although the new boss will be keen to enjoy his first match in front of the home supporters, Widdrington remained focused on the importance of achieving three points.

Staines are third from bottom in the table just four points behind fourth from bottom Eastbourne.

“No question this is a big game for us.

“Results have not been the best at home this season and we need to improve that.

“We have to make Priory Lane a bit of a fortress and make sure that no team gets an easy game when they come here.

“We are both near the bottom of the table but I would not call it a six-pointer. In my whole career I have only ever received three points for a win and that’s what we have to focus on.”

Ben Austin is unavailable with a knee injury sustained in the Sussex Senior Cup quarter-final victory at Lewes last month.

Gary Hart should be available for selection. He came off the bench at Boreham Wood to replace Ethan Strevett on 65 minutes.

Bailo Camara will hope for a starting role once again after the Bissau-Guinean began his first league match of the season last week.

Luton Town loanee Alex Lacey will expect to resume his central defensive partnership with Rowe.

Widdrington added, “Alex and Ollie were superb and were our picks for the match (Boreham Wood).

“It’s a new era for the management and this could be a new era for Ollie leading the side.”