Kretzschmar delighted to be back and in the spotlight
Max Kretzschmar has had to wait patiently for two things this season.
Firstly, the midfielder had to take his time with a hamstring injury he first picked up against Maidstone United in mid-September. His impatience probably delayed his return. Since returning, he's had to wait a couple of weeks for his first start because Alex Dyer, Ashley Charles and Giovanni McGregor have been performing so well in his place.
He was recalled on Saturday and responded with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Scunthorpe United.
“It’s been really frustrating,” said Kretzschmar. “I had a minor injury with my hamstring and then came back twice, re did it twice so didn’t manage it properly. So look, I'm buzzing to be back around it and then obviously being around it I hope I’ve had an influence on some of the young players we’ve got and we’ve got a good result against Wrexham, great result against York and backed it up again today.”
The 29-year-old has also had to wait for the outright penalty taking responsibility. Stones fans might remember that Rhys Browne had the responsibility from the spot at the start of the season, but with Browne now gone, the man who scored nine out of 10 times from the spot last season now has full responsibility. And when Kretzschmar himself went to ground after 22 minutes, there was only one man who was going to take the spot kick.
“I was on the board, no arguments this time, and just said that to Fels [Olofela Olomola] and kept it simple, kept my technique and yeah, it went in.”
Stones face rival Barnet next and, in Kretzschmar, they have a player who is made for the big occasions. At his previous clubs, the midfielder has always been involved in the big games, and Stuart Maynard will hope that he can provide the goods when the Stones make the short trip down to The Hive.
“They’re a good team, they’ll be direct, they’ll be hard to beat but we’ll be prepared for that and derby games, I love them,” said Kretzschmar. "For some reason I always turn up and have a big influence on them so I’m hoping that will happen again, but really looking forward to it, I know the fans will be and the atmosphere will be brilliant, we’ll take a few down there so can’t wait really.”
More than 800 Stones fans made the trip last season on a memorable day for the club, and Kretzschmar has a message to the fans ahead of Saturday's game.
“I said it on Twitter, the World Cup’s going on at the minute, we want as many fans as possible coming here. As a Woking player, the atmosphere was fantastic, I didn’t think it was fantastic at the time because I was on the brunt of it, we just want more of it.
“I know what these guys are like in the area, it’s hugely passionate and loyal to this club so we want more and more people coming in. We’ll take loads to Barnet and I know they’ll make a fair old noise and hopefully that will reflect in our performance and hopefully we can go there and get three points.”
*Pictures by Jon Taffel
* The Wealdstone Raider and club president Paul Rumens have teamed up to produce a charity World Cup song. Download it HERE for 99pm to help benefit Wealdstone Youth FC.