THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

HAVING a trusted goalkeeper with the ability to make match-winning saves is just as important as having a goal-scoring forward.

At times last season we saw a lack of stability, going through five keepers across the campaign, but since the arrival of Tony Aghayere he’s brought a new-found confidence to the team across the pitch.

While catching up with Tony at training, he discussed his time at 1874 so far.

And it was clear he is extremely happy with the team’s form and position at the top of the league table.

He said: “I’m delighted, it’s great we are still in most of our competitions but especially with how our league campaign is going at the moment.

“Everyone is playing well and hopefully we can keep this momentum going for the rest of the season.”

This season we have seen a massive improvement on the defensive side of our game as we have the best defence in the league and Tony believes this is due to stability.

He added: “For me, consistency is everything.

“When you’re playing in matches with new players you don’t get the chance to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

“But this season we have our settled back four that plays every game and we understand each other’s game so, when we play, we can encourage each other more.”

Since arriving at 1874, Tony has made 21 clean sheets in 44 appearances which shows the superb impact he has had on the side.

One of the biggest factors Tony believes as to why we are playing so well this season is down to the excellent squad depth we have.

He said: “One thing that makes all the players strive to achieve more is the depth of the squad.

“When you’re playing well to the level we are, everyone wants to play and be a part of it, so you have to make sure you’re at your best otherwise someone can come in and take your place.

“It spurs us all on to achieve more and we are loving every minute of it.”

With 1874 currently lying in first place and playing some excellent football, Tony described his own and the club’s fortunes as ‘fantastic’.

He said: “The way things are going at the moment is fantastic.

“I didn’t expect to achieve as much as I have already for 1874 in this short amount of time.

“From when I had my first interview, I had high aspirations, but I didn’t see it coming so soon.

“It’s extremely pleasing for me, and my family are so proud of me and I hope I can keep doing that.”

Ever since Tony joined 1874, he has been a fan favourite. One of the most memorable performances was against City of Liverpool in the Macron Cup Final last season.