Adam Walker hopes to be AFC Telford's best man against pal Gareth Dean

When Bucks captain Adam Walker shakes hands with his opposite number Gareth Dean ahead of tomorrow’s match with Brackley Town, it will be another in a series of moving experiences shared by the pair.

Adam Walker leads out AFC Telford United in the FA Cup last weekend. He will lock horns with close pal Gaz Dean of Brackley tomorrow. Pic: Kieren Griffin
Adam Walker leads out AFC Telford United in the FA Cup last weekend. He will lock horns with close pal Gaz Dean of Brackley tomorrow. Pic: Kieren Griffin

Walker and Dean are best friends, having played together at Nuneaton Town, Solihull Moors and Brackley Town, with Walker set to be the best man at Dean’s wedding, writes Rich Worton.

The two speak regularly, and as recently as this week Dean has been helping Walker move house.

However, the Bucks skipper knows that on match day, friendships will be suspended.

“It will be interesting on Saturday,” Walker laughed as he spoke of Dean. “He’s such a loyal guy, he’ll do anything for you, but he’s the first person who’d probably go through you on a football pitch.

“He won’t speak to me on the day of the game. Even at the level we’re playing at, that’s the kind of pride you have; you just want to win.”

Walker and Dean have twice won promotion together, as well as collecting FA Trophy winners’ medals with the Saints in 2018.

Dean’s Brackley team have started the season well while the Bucks’ results have been inconsistent, albeit they have played three games fewer.

Walker felt the disappointment of last weekend’s FA Cup exit to Stamford keenly, and although the Northamptonshire side appears to pose a formidable barrier as the Bucks seek a much-needed victory, Walker insists that team morale remains good:

“We’re not a million miles away; the lads are confident that we are creating chances and that we can get where we need to be,” he said. “Whoever is in the XI selected needs to show why they have been given that shirt and do well enough to hold on to it.

“We’re going out there to win games, and it just hasn’t happened in the last couple.

“Everyone’s trying, everyone wants to do well and it’s now about getting some points on the board.

“It’s up to us as players. We can be given a formation or given tactics, but once you cross that white line it’s about who scores the most goals and keeps the most clean sheets.”

Walker also called upon the club’s supporters, asking them to play their part in helping the team through a ‘sticky patch’.

“I understand their disappointment (at being knocked out of the FA Cup),” he added. “It’s a cup competition and everyone wants to have that good run, but we have to put that behind us. We’ve got a great fanbase, we know what we want to achieve; we’ll just continue to work hard and play for the shirt.”

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