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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:23 pm
Posts: 255

When manager Barry Oliver put his squad through Seaton Carew’s torturous sand dunes during June of 2016, I managed to grab a brief interview with the man in charge. The terminology that reverberated on the day and throughout the season was that ‘the Northern League is now a young mans game’. The likes of Craig Hutchinson, Jack Connor, Luke Hogan and Elliott Beddow were the anthesis of his philosophy. However, there was one player who bucked the trend, a player who was often asked to play in several roles without complaint even though he favoured a pocket role in between the central midfielders and the omnipresent Hutchinson. At 30, Jamie Davis is back for a third spell at the club after making his initial debut as a teenager when Town were still a division one side. His second phase of his Town career began midway through Oliver’s first season in charge and he quickly built an intuitive understanding with Hutchinson, a footballing relationship already cemented via Sunday League.

During the aforementioned second season, Jamie began the new campaign in central midfield, scoring a screamer against Norton & Stockton Ancients that was later chalked off due to the Teesside club folding, before shifting out to a wide right position. He even filled in at right back and by the closing months of a famous season, looked comfortable in central defence, the highlight being a superb individual performance at Northallerton where Town won 3-0 at a notoriously difficult venue. Davis was the old head of the squad but a vital cog in the machine that literally grounded out and smashed the opposition.

Once again, youth permeates throughout the new squad, and yet Davis finds himself back at Bedford Terrace where he belongs, after a season at Deano Browne’s Newton Aycliffe in division one. Often used as a right back by Browne, Davis will be looking to use his telepathic skills with Hutchinson but realises that competition for places will be stronger now than ever before.

Things didn’t exactly go to plan last season while he was at Aycliffe and he will face similar challenges again this season. And how does he feel about owning the grandad tag??
J: Unfortunately it just didn't work out for me there ... playing out of position for start was not part of the deal but we saw the season out and managed to stay up. Coming back to Billingham is really good... good banter, great management, great fans .... a really well ran family club made it easy to return. Grandad tag hahaha.... you have given me this year's nickname!!! lol thanks!!

Davis has always been an ebullient figure and takes everything in his stride but as he gets older, what are the major differences in the NL compared to when he was a teenager.?

J: A massive part of it is fitness....players and teams seem to be a lot fitter so in turn I myself have to be in tip top condition. So Baz was right, it is getting to be a young mans game!

As previously mentioned, Jamie is more than just a utility player but if Barry or Paul wanted him to play in defence or out on the wing how would he approach the situation? If I was a betting man I’d say he would still give it his all!

J: If I was ever asked to play out of my preferred position I would just get my head down and do the job the management want me to do...competition is fierce for places so being part of the starting eleven is a major thing for me. (Ed..a day after completing this article, Davis opening the scoring against Bedlington in less than 40 seconds!)

And what makes his link up with Craig Hutchinson so special? They seem inseparable off the pitch- an intrinsic telepathy that goes way beyond football itself.

J: Me and hutch go back for a few years now... he's a great lad and has got some undoubted football ability... he's a class act. We play very similar so it's easy to play with him as he makes it easy for me as he is a top top player. Off the field we have many similarities but are really just good friends.

With this being his third spell at the club, has he seen any differences in terms of how the club is shaping up on and off the field?

Teams and clubs always change but Billingham Town are a family club and still to this day are a massive family club.... the arrival of Paul and Barry back as management gives the players a boost as it is not their first rodeo... Paul Beddow also deserves a lot of respect for what he has done since he became chairman. Stability reaps rewards and we have already got off to a cracking start to the season. UTT!

Whatever happens throughout the season, Jamie is well respected and revered by the supporters for his past exploits but one gets the feeling he isn’t quite done with his Billingham Town saga just yet! Promotion would certainly be a tonic and make his stay a lucky one at the third attempt!

Thanks to Jamie for taking part and next up will be Jack Connor in October’s feature.

Sent from my iPad



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