Manager Mel Aldis has credited hard work and endeavour as the leading factor behind his Framlingham Town side’s impressive start to the new season.
As well as progressing in the Buildbase FA Vase and pushing higher-league Mildenhall Town all the way in the Emirates FA Cup, the Castlemen are yet to taste defeat in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division. Saturday’s resounding 6-1 win over Needham Market Reserves was their sixth triumph of the campaign, accompanied by two draws.
During that time Framlingham have shipped a division-low six goals — a statistic that Aldis feels is representative of the whole team, not just the defence and goalkeeper.
“There might be teams in the division that are technically better than us, but none will work as hard,” said the Framlingham boss.
“We defend from the front because we like to have the ball in the opposition’s half.
“Our midfielders are so hard working — they do not stop running all game.
“The defence are strong, tough and organised — they love defending. And Sam Chilvers in goal is having a good run.
“We just concentrate on our own strengths and our own limitations.
“There is a long way to go and nobody is getting carried away.
“It is hard to judge where you are until you have played every team once, but I am really happy with the start we have made.”
After taking on AFC Sudbury Reserves at home on Saturday (3pm), Framlingham will switch their focus to the First Division Knockout Cup on Tuesday night — when Cornard United will be their visitors (7.45pm).
Some managers use cup competitions as an opportunity to rotate their squad and rest some of the senior players.
But Aldis, in contrast, is keen for his side to put some silverware in their trophy cabinet come the end of the season.
“Success is important and it would be great if we could go on to win the knockout cup,” he said.
“That is the reason you play football — to win things.
“So we will not be prioritising one competition over another. We want to win every trophy we play for.”
The recently-signed Sinedine Prado-Rodriguez is set for a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury, while Chris Boardley is unavailable for the encounter against Sudbury’s second string.
However, on a more positive note, Jake Taylor is set to return to the squad.