Club captain Nathan Buddle looks back at his Spartans career after nearly 10 years at the club, and looks forward to the season ahead.
Firstly, Rhys Evans. How do you put up with him?
I don’t to be honest, I make sure he sits at the front of the bus on away games with his legs crossed and a finger over his lip. We also have a rule that Rhys can only speak when spoken too for the sake of the squad
Obviously last season was a difficult one. Most of us thought we’d be top half/challenging for the play offs but of course that wasn’t to be. What do you reckon was the most challenging part of last season? And how did you overcome it?
For me personally it was dealing with my injury; slipping a disc in my back & having to sit and watch the lads from the stands, especially with it being my first career injury and putting me out for the best part of 3 months. If anything I probably came back too early, but its just in me to want to play. As a collective though it was definitely going into the last 1/4 of the season with a constant feel of looking over our shoulder, I always knew we had enough to stay up but when it gets to the ‘squeeky bum time’ stage like it did, the nerves can kick in and effect individual performances. I just know that I never want to be in that relegation fight again!
Might be early days yet but how’s married life treating you?
Cant complain to be honest, 3 weeks of honeymoon was absolutely brilliant. Ask me the same question in 3 month and it maybe a different answer though!
The squad has of course seen a bit of turnover this year but the defence has mostly stayed the same. As a unit, what are yous looking to improve on this year?
We have to improve defensively, simple as that. Being a defender you always look at the ‘goals against’ tally and our record last year was one of the worst. If we can be solid at the back, it give us the foundations to get something from every game. Brackley are a prime example of this, the amount of games they win 1-0 results in them being in the top 6 every season.
By the end of this season you would have been with Blyth (on and off) for 10 years. Bar the obvious cup run/promotion, what’s been your favourite moment in a Blyth shirt?
I knows its ironic with us playing them tomorrow, but honestly that Kiddy goal! To have Pete sent off unjustifiably, then have Robbie in goal for as long as he was being 3-1 down with 5 minutes left. I still cant believe I found the bottom corner but for the effort the whole team put in to score the goal, those celebrations were something else – I just remember being on the bottom of that pile on struggling to breath!
We’ve all seen a few ‘interesting’ pictures from the stag do how messy did that get?
Haha yeah the stag do was brilliant, the first night to say I was worse for wear is an understatement! The less said the better!
Similar to what Rhys was asked but many of us perhaps aren’t so confident going into the new season. What would your message to fans be ahead of the new season?
As yous always do – stick with us. Rest assured we will give everything we can on the pitch, it may not always go our way but I feel like a fan myself so when we win I am delighted and when we lose I hurt like you all. Nobody wants a repeat of last season, so collectively we need to stick together and have the best season we are capable of.
Lastly, Rhys reckoned Danny Barlow was the longest in the shower. Over your near 10 years at Blyth, who’d you reckon was the longest in the shower?
Easy, dont know if you can remember him but a lad called Marc Lancaster. Elephants Trunk – Just ridiculous. And not signed on but Pascal Chimbonda; you could of played baseball with that thing.