Saturday 24th September 2005
By Shaun Keddle
Eddie - get off your tractor, forget the pitches we will play down Goddington Park. Dom - forget the grounds let them grow wild, I''m sure the moles will love it. Vic - forget the newsletter, the league meetings, the phone calls - word of mouth will do. Graham/Des/Dennis - forget the maintenance let the clubhouse fall apart - graffiti the clubhouse and smash all the windows - in fact we will use a portacabin instead. Tony/Chris - forget the finances, let the club go into receivership. Paul - forget fixtures and refs, just play inter-club friendlies. Shirley - have Saturdays off you work all week. Shaun - forget the sponsorship deals and poke the new kit and the t-shirts, don''t bother with training and your silly equipment and tactics.
Managers - don''t pick a team, lets just see who turns up. Don''t matter if we win or lose, don''t even matter if FOBGFC don''t exist..... Of course I am being sarcastic and the above will never happen - why? Because the above people have commitment, loyalty and passion, something that a lot of players at Farnborough lack. Players at Farnborough are taking the **** at the club that a dedicated group of people work so hard for. I solemnly believe that we make it too easy at Farnborough (myself being the main culprit) and players take advantage of what we have. I am yet to meet a club at our level offer the same (yet alone close to the same) services that we offer. Who else has newsletters? carpeted changing rooms? cups of tea after the game? informative and up to date website? Cheap Bar? One of the best pitches in Kent? Hung-up washed kit? Tactic boards in changing rooms? Nice hot showers? Full size floodlit training facility with proper training? Managers that are as patient and dedicated as ours? The same dedication that is being shown off the pitch by non-playing members is not being reflected on the pitch by playing members, due to the unavailability of players who just seem to flit in and out of teams as they so please and are probably the first to complain when they are not selected. My own team are the first team and should be setting an example for the rest of the club, unfortunately some of us are not doing that. I want my players to be proud of being in the first team and return that honour with the commitment it deserves. I have chosen this week to have a dig, but let''s face it, it could be any week, don''t take the timing personally, it could have been the first week in the season or the last. When you commit to a season, please COMMIT. Barring injury and maybe an unlucky suspension, there should be no reason why a player should miss more than two weeks in a season. If this was the case, we would have a better league positions, more cups and a happier environment. The trophies, glory and success is all down to players appreciating what FOBG offers its players and showing passion, loyalty and commitment in return and I am sure the results will come our way.
Instead of just reading what I have written, try actually doing it for once. Players seem to blame tactics, formations, organisation, manager etc, but fail to blame themselves and lack of commitment in the first place.
As a result I have to take the following actions:
* At least 10 first teamers must turn up to training every week or I walk. I have better things to do if my own players do not show at least some of the commitment that I do. Educate your employers, educate your birds, come directly to training from work - I don''t care, just get there. Funny how the two most attended training sessions last year were the training sessions before the semi-final and the final. Treat every Saturday like a final if that is the case.
* I will only take the kit and wash it, if we win. (It''s a bit ''it''s my ball and I''m going home'' but I don''t care)
* Starting from next week, if you miss a week expect to be dropped. You let me down, why can''t I let you down?
* If you miss training, expect to be made sub or even dropped at the last minute. You let me down, why can''t I let you down?
* Players must turn up one hour before kick off, home or away matches. Poor timing will be reflected in starting positions.
Yes, they are military like rules, but when you feel as though people are taking the **** out of you, I am sure you too would introduce similar measures. I am only introducing these rules to benefit yourselves, the team and the club and I am sure long term success will come as a result.
As for the game itself it was not helped by the fact that I only had 13 out of my 17 players available with three of those 13 players recovering from illness and one struggling with an injury, this of course lead to lack of options to a) field a fit team or b) make replacements or tactical changes when I needed to. Our general play was okay, but we did lack the ability to finish. However, we lacked passion all around the park and never seemed to show any urgency and desire. Big tackles were not hit when needed to be and we lacked tenacity, this was shown when three times in the game, their number eight danced past 3 players without even so much of a challenge and even tracked. Some games you have got to dig in and grit your teeth and this was the essential element that we lacked on Saturday. Saying that (and in hindsight) good games were had by Jumbo in goal and Dave Harrigan in the middle. Aaron showed some true fighting spirit when he came on, which showed how much he cared about being made sub. Maybe his tenacity was a bit over the top and got a bit lucky, but he really wanted to make an impact on a game that had slipped away from us. Sammy also showed promise, a lot of movement and some neat touches and will be rewarded on Saturday by a starting position in the middle. Jamie Williams had a good first half but we just did not seem to give him the ball in the second half. MOM the match was Jumbo after a couple of fine stops to keep us in it to the end.
A more passionate performance is required for next week with my players really starting to take a look at themselves with regards to availability and take heed of my words. I am the manager of this team and a proud one at that and I want a response. Last season I did not miss a single game - be it friendly, cup or league and only missed two training sessions. This season once again I lead the way in terms of training and match day availability, something I am proud of but not happy with. People talk about commitment and availability but it''s time to stop talking it and start showing it and showing it now, as if we do not improve, the league season could be over by the end of October. We badly need to go up this season and we know we are easily good enough, but we do need to show more effort, commitment, loyalty and availability.
C''mon boys, I''m begging here.