Grant Brown provides optimistic season update
Head coach Grant Brown is upbeat about FCV Academy’s progress two months into the new season.
The ECFA Premier League team have won three of their six games this campaign, scoring 15 goals in the process and sitting third in the eight-team table.
Meanwhile the FCV Grace Dieu second team, that play in the AOC Sports East Midlands Championship, have a 100 per cent record from their three league matches this season and have won two cup ties.
The cup draw saw FCV Academy’s Premier League and Championship sides pitched against each other. The top-tier team were convincing winners on the day, but it remains the only game that second team have lost all campaign.
FCV Grace Dieu U21s have also been on flying form in the league, winning five and drawing twice to maintain an unbeaten start to 2022/23. They occupy second in the table.
“It’s been very positive from the first couple of months of the season,” said former defender Brown, who is the all-time appearance record holder for English Football League side Lincoln City.
“The first team have had some good results and some games where they have deserved more, but they are coming up against some tough competition which we knew would happen in the Premier League and with it being our first year in the division.
“The cup game between our first and second teams was a test for both sides, but a little one-sided as the Premier League team were excellent. Hands were shaken at the end of it and it was nice for the lads to compete against each other.
“Some of our Championship players have done really well. Isaac Chuckwumeze has been played more as a striker this year and he’s scored five in three games.
“Former goalkeeper Caleb Woolford came to us as a winger and an opportunity arose where we needed someone to put the gloves on, and he was more than willing. He’s never looked back since, he recently saved a penalty against a really good team and we went on to win the game, so he’s had a big impact.”
Since pre-season, Brown has noticed how much the players have grown physically and mentally through competitive games.
“They are fitter, more tactically aware, and the team togetherness is growing as they are working hard for each other in all the squads.
“We had a game not long ago against a team much better than us in the first half, but we said can we work harder and tweak a few things tactically and be more aggressive on the pitch. The lads stepped up in the second half and we scored two goals to win the game 2-1.
“For the players it’s about being patient and staying focused on their actions and the gameplan when they are on the pitch, keeping the ball as much as we can as we want to be a possession-based team but still playing it forward and adding movement to get people on the ball, getting it into the feet of our number 10.
“We’ve been working on team shape and how we are going to play, working on triggers that would release the full-backs, and stopping other teams from playing as well.”