Aug 4 2011 By Greg Burns
JAMES Potton has his eyes on winning and keeping a Chesham United first-team starting spot this season.
And the 22-year-old midfielder is certainly giving boss Andy Leese food for thought with a string of impressive pre-season performances.
Potton missed the opening two pre-season games on holiday but was handed starts against Barnet XI last Tuesday and Broxbourne on Saturday and responded with a goal in each game.
He played 90 minutes in the 4-2 midweek win over Slough and was man-of-the-match with two assists and a dominant display in midfield.
He said: “It was my first 90 minutes so I am feeling it but I felt surprisingly fit which was good. I kept looking at the bench but they kept me on so I was happy.
“I am very pleased with the last few games. To start and get some goals is nice. I came into pre-season a bit late and have been able to get as fit as I can.
“Everyone is still playing for places and the midfield is filled with quality players here so it is important to take your chances when you get them and try to impress.
“The plan is to get starts and stay in the team this season. I was in and out last season and I just want to show the consistency needed to keep hold of the shirt.
“You look on the bench and we have players who can easily come in a fill a spot. But there is not an edginess in the dressing room among players competing for spots and everyone is gelling really well and encouraging whoever is out on the pitch.”
Leese has been delighted with Potton's progress since making his debut for the club last September.
He said: “We thought he might be behind in the fitness because he had been away but he has showed he isn't and is looking a real threat.
“He looks sharp and drives us on, his range of passing is excellent and he is a goal threat.”
The Generals boss has a final weekend fixture against Wingate & Finchley at The Meadow on Saturday to finalise his starting XI for their league opener on August 13.
And Leese said there is still time for players to stake their claim for a spot and make his final decision as tough as possible.
“There are still places up for grabs but there are one or two within the group who are pushing really hard for first-team spots,” he said.
“I have some tough decisions to make in the middle of the park and at the back. We will have a very strong group of 18 or 19 players and, I say it every summer, but keeping everyone happy is the toughest ask.”