Colliers Wood United look forward to next season after escaping relegation


The semi-professional club in Merton made a Wigan Athletic-style great escape.


By Ryan Bembridge

After a dramatic run saved them from relegation last season, Colliers Wood United are hoping to make a mark on the Combined Counties League this time round.

The semi-professional club in Merton made a Wigan Athletic-style great escape from April to May, winning seven of their last 11 fixtures.

This included a 4-2 home victory over league runners-up Guernsey, with the away side bringing on England legend Matt Le Tissier as a substitute.

Club Press Officer Chris Clapham said: “If we play this season like the end of last season we could finish in the top six.”

The Wood, who play at Wibbandune Sports Ground in West Wimbledon, will kick off the new campaign on August 3rd.

“We got what we deserved at the end of the season,” said joint first team manager Mark Douglas.

“Generally speaking we were playing games and getting beat by the odd goal.”

Douglas reserved particular praise for defenders Sam Mead and Ben James, who helped tighten up the leaky defence for the run-in.

The team also had influential striker Mario Embalo to thank, with the Angolan striker finding the net an astonishing 23 times.

Douglas said: “Embalo has been fantastic all season; his work rate is amazing.”

Around half of the first team have played for Colliers Wood United since the U12 and U13 levels, installing what Douglas called a strong spirit at the club.

Coach Dean Enna, who Clapham attributes to putting more belief into the changing room, could also boost the club’s chances in the coming campaign.

In order to get the club ready for higher leagues, Clapham said the club wanted to eventually cover more of the ground, which currently has 120 seats.

“You must have stability, you must have vision,” he concluded.

The club are currently the ninth tier of English football, and command an average attendance of 50.

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