Josh Barton spoke to George Stutle about pre-season, individual performances, team morale, and objectives for the new season.

JB: Individually and collectively, how would you assess pre-season going into the first game of the season?

GS: Individually I’d say I’ve done well in the sessions leading up to our friendlies, however getting injured in the first game was very irritating as I hate having to sit out. Going into the first game of the new season, I think we are looking really sharp, we as a collective are really excited for the season ahead. From a fitness perspective, it is looking positive and our pre-season programme has really portrayed that, and we will continue to show that as we begin the new season.

JB: In terms of the tests we have had in pre-season, what would you say that you’ve been impressed with the most from our point of view?

GS: I would say from watching the friendlies we had against the likes of Dorchester and Weymouth, we did very well. Also, watching from the sideline, you see the game a bit differently. Although at times it looked a bit frustrating going forward the lads managed to adapt to make it work. The games were very close, I thought there was not much in it all which makes the future look promising for us!

JB: For yourself individually you joined the club late last season and did very very well in your first season. You are obviously still young as well. How would you assess how you’ve done both with Portland and Weymouth 23’s? Also, the fact that people have noticed you must be a good thing for you?

GS: I think joining late last season and coming into semi-pro football was a big step up. I hadn’t properly played football since I was 16 due to an ACL injury, so I was excited but nervous to see what was to come. I struggled finding a position too as I had been played at a few different ones, however, to hear my name being mentioned really gives me the motivation to strive to become a better player.

JB: How Important is team morale and camaraderie? Would you say that having that good team spirit is one of the most important things in terms of getting results and performing as one?

GS: I think team spirit and togetherness are definitely one of the main key factors you need as a football team. The end-of-season holiday we had brought us together. By also doing things like the boxing and swimming, it has improved the chemistry between all of us, and the environment we’ve created is a good laugh. I believe it’ll definitely help us out on the field with our shape and tactics and then the results will come with that.

JB: What would say your goals are individually this season and how far do you think the team can go throughout the season?

GS: On an individual note, I believe I need to become more consistent with my performances meaning I can contribute to helping the team keep more clean sheets and scoring more goals. I believe a few of our targets as a collective have already been met, however, we are still working towards other targets that I believe we can accomplish this season. This will really drive the club up the footballing ladder, where it belongs.