The old adage goes that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks
but that saying does not quite ring true at Lancaster City.
At 29-year-old and with hundreds of appearances at NPL First Division North level under his belt, Dolly Blues captain Neil Marshall is bordering on veteran status in football terms.
But the centre-half admits to learning a few more tricks of his defensive trade since manager Darren Peacock took over the Dolly Blues reins last year.
Former centre-back Peacock boasts a wealth of experience after playing for Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle and Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.
He and his assistant – former QPR team-mate Trevor Sinclair – have been keen to impart their knowledge and experience on their squad – even the older members like Marshall.
“It’s a great experience playing under them both,” said the City skipper.
“They have both been there and done it and it’s great that they are sharing their experiences with us.
“Although with the manager being a former defender, the back four do get a bit more grief but that’s to be expected.
“I think we are all learning from him – even me at my age.
“You can still teach an old dog new tricks.”
Tomorrow, the Dolly Blues host Radcliffe Borough at Giant Axe looking to put a sequence of results together which would propel them up the league table.
Marshall admits his men have struggled with consistency so far but has no doubt there is enough quality in the squad to sustain a concerted play-off push.
Last season, City missed out on a top-five place by virtue of goal difference and Marshall is keen that his men do not suffer that agony again.
“It was a big blow last season to miss out on the play-offs on goal difference,” Marshall said.
“But we just had to get on with it. So far this season, it’s been a bit up and down in terms of our form.
“In more or less every game, we have had chances to win.
“If we can take our chances and score our goals, we are capable of beating anybody on our day. At the moment, not taking our chances is coming back to haunt us.
“We have got a young squad but I don’t think we will be far off the play-offs this season.
“You always find in this league that there are one or two who are stronger than everybody else but there’s a lot of teams who are all capable of beating each other.”
City drew 1-1 last weekend with Brig in the FA Trophy.
The replay on Tuesday night was postponed due to dangerous winds and will now go-ahead next Tuesday.