TERRAS: Skipper Sam can be a role model

Dorset Echo: CAPTAIN: Sam Poole CAPTAIN: Sam Poole

SAM Poole will wear the captain’s armband with pride again this afternoon when the Terras take on Bedford Town at the Bob Lucas Stadium (3pm).

The home-grown defender was given the honour at Banbury last weekend and, although it may not turn out to be a permanent role, he is thankful for the opportunity.

Poole told Echosport: “Jason Matthews spoke to me before last Saturday’s game at Banbury and said he thought I was doing well and deserved to have the captaincy during his time in charge.

“To come through the youth ranks and the reserves to the first team and already get the armband is a great accolade, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

“To get the chance to captain your hometown club is very special and something I am extremely proud of.”

Matthews, who has taken caretaker charge of the Terras since Brendon King’s departure last week, has huge confidence in Poole’s ability and believes he can be a role model for the side, despite still only being 21.

Many people thought the centre-back may lose his spot this season, following the arrival of the Walker brothers in the summer, but Michael and Nathan have found it hard to displace him.

Poole added: “It is always better to have good competition because naturally it makes you work that bit harder and gives you that extra five per cent.

“The two Walker brothers came in at the start of the season and gave me that extra bit of incentive and I am enjoying the challenge.

“A lot of people still see me as being a youngster but I am almost at 150 appearances now and definitely feel like I have found my feet.

“I have built up a lot of experience over the last couple of years. I know a lot of the opposition players and I know the league, and that extra bit of knowledge can make a lot of difference in certain situations.”

When asked what the key has been to keeping his place, he added: “You have got to make sure you are on it every game.

“It’s no good training on a Tuesday and a Thursday and thinking that is enough.

“You have to train outside of that too and make sure you look after yourself properly throughout the week. It is those extra details that can make all the difference.”

King was the man that spotted Poole’s talent and gave him his chance in the first team and since then he has never let the Terras down.

Commenting on the recent change in management, Poole said: “Brendon was the manager of the reserves when I was there and when he took on the first team he gave me an opportunity in pre-season. Thankfully I impressed him enough to get a contract and since then I haven’t really looked back. I owe both him and Matt Groves a lot and it was sad to see them go.

“They gave the team stability again but, for whatever reason, it has not gone for us this year and, at the end of the day, football is a results business.

“Brendon knows that more than anyone else and sometimes change can be a good thing.”

He continued: “Jason is a very likable man and all the boys get on with him.

“Since he took over last week he has been talking to people individually and trying to get them to play with a bit of freedom.

“He is also trying to get everyone on board to respect what he is doing. With the experience he has, he is well aware of all the personalities in football and certainly has no issues in terms of man-management.”

Ultimately though, it is the players that need to shoulder the responsibility for turning the club’s season around.

Poole said: “It is down to us to get the results.

“The management team do all they can to set us up but we are the ones that haven’t been getting the results of late for whatever reason.

“We got the season off to a great start but we then lost confidence following a couple of defeats and have never really regained it again.

“Hopefully keeping a clean sheet last Saturday at Banbury, after all the goals we have been conceding of late, will now do us the world of good and we can start turning it around.

“We are not a million miles off it we have just got to get back in that habit of grinding out wins.

“If we could string a few results together over the busy festive period the whole picture could change in just a couple of weeks.”

* Today’s game is being sponsored by Lomand Homes, while Snookes are the sponsors for the Boxing Day clash with Poole Town.

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