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Comment: Bucks have the quality - now they have to show it

Not since their promotion to the National League North back in 2007 have AFC Telford United been this close to starring down the barrel at the Northern Premier League.

Adam Walker being pressured by Brackley Town player during the Vanarama North fixture between AFC Telford United and Brackley Town at The New Bucks Head on Saturday, September 25th 2021, Picture credit: Kieren Griffin Photography.
Adam Walker being pressured by Brackley Town player during the Vanarama North fixture between AFC Telford United and Brackley Town at The New Bucks Head on Saturday, September 25th 2021, Picture credit: Kieren Griffin Photography.

In fact, over the last 14 seasons of playing in the second tier of non-league football or above, the Bucks haven't finished lower than 18th in the National League North. So propping up the table and being five points adrift of safety represent new and choppy waters for the club.

It has been Telford's worst start to a campaign for some time and yet still, when you sit down and look at some of the players Paul Carden has at his disposal, you do find yourself questioning quite how the Bucks have got themselves into this position.

And that is because on paper, there are players in that squad who are more than capable of dragging the Bucks away from the drop zone. But for one reason of another they just haven't hit the heights they are capable of.

In Adam Walker, the Bucks have a midfielder who possess stacks of experience and hundreds of games – not just at this level but the one above as well.

Brendan Daniels is a winger who, has shown in recent weeks just what he can bring to the party. Injuries haven't been kind to him over the last year or so, but he has the flare that is something the Bucks have been crying out for.

Dom McHale is another player who has bags of ability, but is yet to truly show it for the Bucks. And in Jason Oswell they have a striker who bagged 25 goals in 40 games at this level for Stockport County in the not too distant past.

Add to that, Carden is being given the chance to put his own stamp on things, by bringing in the likes of Mace Goodridge, Brayden Shaw and Jordan Piggott, as well as Liam Nolan. And it is the latter who you could argue may just be pivotal in the Bucks' survival.

The former Crewe and Accrington Stanley midfielder arrived on loan from AFC Fylde earlier this week and he will bring not only quality to the Bucks side but the experience that is needed for a dog fight, because that is what Telford are in now.

If you put all those names down on a piece of paper along with the new arrivals, without showing someone the league table, I highly doubt they'd predict that side would be propping up the division.

However, for one reason or another, whether that be summer recruitment, or style of play, that is exactly where they find themselves.

The Bucks are in dangerous territory as they sit five points adrift at the foot of the table, but things can change quickly. For that to happen they need the quality in their squad to step it up and for those new faces to hit the ground running immediately.

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