"Bucks looking to begin the New Year with a bang"
Match Date : January 1st, 2024 3:00 pm
Competition : Southern League Premier Central
Ground : New Bucks Head
Kick Off : 15:00
The Bucks will kick off 2024 with a home game against Bromsgrove Sporting on New Year’s Day.
Sporting were formed by a fan-led consortium in 2009 in response to the financial troubles of Bromsgrove Rovers. Both clubs did briefly exist simultaneously, but following the eventual demise of Rovers in August 2010 Sporting have gone on to carry the footballing mantle in Bromsgrove and are the in-spirit replacement for Rovers.
Given the circumstances surrounding the club’s creation, it’s perhaps not surprising, if not a little unusual, that Sporting now have a rule which states that nobody can own more than 10% of the club to ensure that nobody ever gains overall personal control.
The man currently in charge of matters on the pitch is player manager Mike McGrath. The former Kettering and Hereford man was appointed in October 2022 and had an almost immediate effect as the Rouslers went on a five-game unbeaten run. Despite a collapse in form from the end of February when Sporting picked up only eight points from their final 13 games, McGrath did enough to comfortably steer the Rouslers to safety, finishing one place but nine points above the drop.
Bromsgrove have been up and down again this season. The Rouslers were the first team to take a point off table toppers Mickleover, and they also were the first to beat other early-season high flyers, Halesowen. Meanwhile, a recent run of five defeats from six saw the Worcestershire club slide back into trouble, but a current unbeaten run of three games has helped stablise the 16th-place Rouslers.
The Sporting squad includes two former Bucks in the shape of Luke Rowe and Ben O’Hanlon, but it’s dangerman Conor Tee who Kevin Wilkin’s men will really need to keep an eye on. The right-sided midfielder has hit ten goals in all competitions so far this season.
Monday’s clash will be the first competitive meeting between the Bucks and the reformed Sporting. Wilkin’s men put in one of their best performances of the season at Halesowen on Boxing Day, and the Bucks will be looking to start 2024 in the same way they ended 2023.