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Letters from Wiltshire #07 14:25 - Oct 3 with 204 viewswessex_exile

Welcome to Matchday #4 everyone, with the U’s making a reasonably solid start to the league campaign, undefeated, two clean sheets, only one goal conceded and sitting comfortably just outside the play-offs. I’d probably feel more comfortable if we were scoring a few more at the other end, so it’s good to see Chuck getting back into action. The big news that’s grabbing most of the column inches now is of course that President Trump is in hospital with coronavirus. Now there are many out there in the social media world who consider this somewhat poetic irony, given his (mixed) messaging on the subject since the crisis began, and there are more than a few wishing that it ends very badly for Trump. I’m not one of them, but I was reminded this morning of a famous quote “I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction”. Often misattributed to Mark Twain, it was Clarence Darrow in his 1932 work The Story of My Life. For those, like me, who consider Inherit the Wind probably the best courtroom drama ever made, Darrow was the lawyer in the real Scopes Monkey Trial.

The U’sual – The Colchester United Fanzine
Issue 1
August 2002


Yep, my memorabilia random match selector has finally not chosen a match, but a fanzine – and what a significant one in the history of Colchester United. For those that are unaware, this was produced by our very own webmaster Daniel, and followed on from the previous The Blue Eagle, which had ceased production about three years earlier. This was back in the day of ColuOnline when we were on the old Rivals network. To put my fanzine purchase into context, I’m pretty sure I picked up my copy when I travelled over to Layer Rd for my traditionally ‘closest to my birthday’ football treat on 24th August 2002, to watch the U’s take on Brentford.



Aw crap…
Not so much of a treat it turned out, as we lost 1-0. That match remains a possible choice for future blogs, so I won’t go into it now – I’ll spare you that at least. Worryingly, like today, this was our fourth match of that season, so I sincerely hope that isn’t a portent of things to come this afternoon…



Nerd alert
I’ll have a trawl through Issue 1 of The U’sual in due course, but for now lets have a look at some stats related to the occasion, the opponent, the date etc. Most of this is derived from Graeson’s excellent www.coludata.co.uk website, plus my own paltry records on occasion.

…will play ball #4
There is a slight flaw in my data, in that my matchday numbers per season don’t differentiate between league and cups, but when Matchday #4 coincides with a league match, it’s a reasonably auspicious occasion for the U’s. Sixty-seven occurrences since 1937/38, and we’ve won 27, drawn 17 and lost 23. If you translate that into a 46-game league, that’s about 67 points – ironically, probably somewhere just outside the play-offs (sounds familiar).

”Hold them…Hold them!”

Oldham Athletic began life as Pine Villa FC in 1895, playing in the Manchester and Lancashire Leagues. When Oldham County folded in 1899, Pine Villa moved into Boundary Park and changed their name to Oldham Athletic. After winning the Lancashire Combination title in 1906/07, they were elected into the football league for the 1907/08 season – and they’ve been here ever since.

Unlike the U’s, Oldham’s football record is interrupted by both World Wars, the Great War coming at a particularly inconvenient time for the Latics, as they were in their ascendency and had missed out winning the Division 1 title by just one point. The inter-war years were not kind to Oldham, who had gradually slipped all the way back to Division 3 North by the time Hitler came to the rescue. Mind you, it didn’t get much better once normal football hostilities resumed after the war and following a single season foray back into Division 2, they ended up as one of the founding members of Division 4 in 1959/60. With echoes of Barrow’s plight, the following season they had to apply for re-election, which they were granted at the expense of Gateshead (who had finished above Oldham). Gateshead were sacrificed for our dear friends and neighbours Peterborough United.

After bouncing around between Divisions 3 and 4 for the next fourteen seasons or so, they eventually gained promotion back to Division 2 in 1973/74 under player-manager Jimmy Frizzell. There they stayed until 1990/91, when under Joe Royal they finally returned to the top flight, and having survived one season, therefore became a founding member of the newly formed Premier League in 1991/92. A somewhat ignominious claim to fame – surely they must be the only team who were founding members of both Division 4 and the Premier League? Whatever, it didn’t last long, and they were relegated in 1994. Since then, it’s pretty much been a downward trajectory through to today – 4th from bottom on zero points and three straight defeats in the league. Cheer up though Latics, where there’s a Southend, there’s always hope for you!

Score on the Doors
Don’t get yourself too excited about a potential cracker here – since our first meeting with Oldham back in 1961/62, we have played each other 49 times, and twenty of those have been draws. It’s pretty much honours even for the remainder too, we’ve won 14 and Oldham 15. As a portent of things to come, the very first game was a 2-2 draw at Boundary Park, but the return match at Layer Rd two days before Christmas saw a 5-1 victory for Benny Fenton’s U’s (two each for Martyn King and Bobby Hunt, and one for Peter Wright). That’s as good as it’s ever been for the U’s, though we came close in 2011 with a 4-1 victory at the Weston Homes. Oldham have returned the compliment on a few occasions, thrashing the U’s 4-0 at Boundary Park in 1967 and 1971, and 4-1 in March 2002. Oddly, we’ve never played each other in a cup competition.

Not you as well!
Graeson’s ‘Played For Both’ function throws up a veritable rogues gallery of names to consider, which include Wayne Andrews, one of my all-time favourites Colin Garwood, Scott Vernon, Guy Branston, Big George Elokobi (of course), Chris Iwelumo, Jabo, Chris Porter, Mark Yeates and dear old Brian Launders!

Those hazy crazy days
Here’s an interesting fact – we’ve played on October 3rd twelve times in our history, and never drawn a single match – won six and lost six. We’ve even played Oldham Athletic on this date, losing 1-0 at Boundary Park in 1998. It’s less optimistic if we look at just matches on Saturday 3rd October, played eight, lost five – and if we filter down to only home matches, it’s even worse, played three, lost two. Our best performance, without doubt destroying QPR 4-2 at Layer Rd in 2007 and those heady days in the Championship. The pits? Probably our very first match on this date, losing 3-1 at Gay Meadow in 1953.

Get on with it!
Anyway, back to The U’sual. In Daniel’s editorial , having first introduced the concept of why a new fanzine, went on to reflect on matters that were pertinent to the U’s faithful at the time – such as the shortage of fit centre-halves at the time, why Whitton didn’t seem to want to pick Alan White in that role, and the perennial problem of a mis-firing strike-force (sounds familiar – again!). The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing, so reading material on Dean ‘he does it in training’ Morgan does make me chuckle.

There’s a summary of line-ups and scores for our pre-season friendlies (including the ‘never played’ 1-1 draw with West Ham – goal scored by Dean Morgan 😊), useful directions to upcoming awaydays, and a comparison of ticket prices in our league that season. Prompted by ticket prices rising, and the club maintaining we were still “…amongst the cheapest in Division 2…”, the summary list showed that at £289 our most expensive season ticket did look fairly cheap compared to others (Oldham were one of the lowest at £270), but our cheapest at £211 considerably more expensive than many – the reader was invited to draw their own conclusions.

There were contributions from names who will be familiar to many of us on here, including Old Phart’s Best XI, a round up of the U’s Ladies (back when we had a U’s Ladies team) by Sparky, and Episode 1 of The Misadventures of Betty Swollox. However, the main article was an excellent Q&A interview with club legend Micky Cook. There are six pages of it, and at times it’s quite in-depth (top work Daniel!), so I can't summarise it all here, but I will pick up on a couple of interesting replies.

On most appearances, when asked if he thought anyone would break his record of 700 appearances in all competitions for the U’s, he thought even back then that Doogie might have a chance of doing so. Although Doogie fell short with a paltry 471 appearances, that wasn’t a bad shout to be honest. When asked about when he thought the U’s were at their peak during his time at Layer Rd, Micky went back to my pre-exile late 70s and early 80s heroes, specifically name-checking Trevor Lee in the process.

Apart from his longevity at the club, Micky cited his role in supporting and coaching Lua Lua as one of his biggest achievements whilst at the club – and for £2.25m who wouldn’t! He did go on to mention in passing “Lomana is still to prove in the Premiership that he has that consistency factor, but certainly he can do stuff that nobody else can, that’s for sure”. Sums up Lua Lua’s carrer pretty succinctly to be honest.

All in all, a cracking read, and more importantly Daniel would go on to produce The U’sual fanzine for more than three years, a prodigious effort give it was pretty much a solo effort for most of it – well done Daniel!

To finish, how about remembering our most recent match against Oldham, and a trip to Boundary Park in August last year – the return fixture lost out to lockdown.

I’ll take one of these again quite happily…



Up the U’s
[Post edited 3 Oct 14:28]

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 17:22 - Oct 3 with 195 viewswessex_exile

Can I be the first to apologise - I'd signposted that this had draw written all over it, and whilst it never should have been, I'm really sorry it turned out that way...

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 13:35 - Oct 6 with 156 viewsDaniel

Thanks Wessex. I remember doing the Micky Cook interview quite fondly and it's weird in a way the fanzine ended how it started (I'll explain in a bit).

I had a good relationship with the club at the time I started the fanzine and arranged a face to face interview with Cook though them, but the problem was he was a busy man and I hadn't yet passed my driving test. The solution... I turned up at Layer Road one morning and got a lift to the club's then training ground at Essex Uni in a minibus with the Youth Team. While training was taking place, Micky gave up his time to talk with me and we had a lovely chat, he was a top bloke (he arranged for my lift to training because that was the type of guy he was). I recorded the whole thing and it took me days to type it all up.

I had to wait for a lift back to Layer Road after training and spent the rest of the morning chatting with Joe Dunne who had to sit out first team training because he was injured. Another top bloke and great chat.

The ironic thing is, Dunne later went on to take over as Youth Team boss and the final interview I done for the fanzine was with him in the old Youth Team portacabin at Layer Road. It was another great interview, which took a long time to write up - so long I made it a two-parter, but sadly never had the time to publish part two as life got too busy and the fanzine came to an end
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 16:08 - Oct 6 with 146 viewsPinault_Noir

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 13:35 - Oct 6 by Daniel

Thanks Wessex. I remember doing the Micky Cook interview quite fondly and it's weird in a way the fanzine ended how it started (I'll explain in a bit).

I had a good relationship with the club at the time I started the fanzine and arranged a face to face interview with Cook though them, but the problem was he was a busy man and I hadn't yet passed my driving test. The solution... I turned up at Layer Road one morning and got a lift to the club's then training ground at Essex Uni in a minibus with the Youth Team. While training was taking place, Micky gave up his time to talk with me and we had a lovely chat, he was a top bloke (he arranged for my lift to training because that was the type of guy he was). I recorded the whole thing and it took me days to type it all up.

I had to wait for a lift back to Layer Road after training and spent the rest of the morning chatting with Joe Dunne who had to sit out first team training because he was injured. Another top bloke and great chat.

The ironic thing is, Dunne later went on to take over as Youth Team boss and the final interview I done for the fanzine was with him in the old Youth Team portacabin at Layer Road. It was another great interview, which took a long time to write up - so long I made it a two-parter, but sadly never had the time to publish part two as life got too busy and the fanzine came to an end


Wessex, this wonderful venture is a fanzine in all but name. Marvellous, thank you.
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:19 - Oct 6 with 141 viewswessex_exile

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 16:08 - Oct 6 by Pinault_Noir

Wessex, this wonderful venture is a fanzine in all but name. Marvellous, thank you.


You are too kind Pinault, thank you!

In truth, I do enjoy doing these - they exercise the grey matter and pull long forgotten memories back into focus - so I'm glad you're enjoying them too.

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Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #18

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:23 - Oct 6 with 139 viewswessex_exile

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 13:35 - Oct 6 by Daniel

Thanks Wessex. I remember doing the Micky Cook interview quite fondly and it's weird in a way the fanzine ended how it started (I'll explain in a bit).

I had a good relationship with the club at the time I started the fanzine and arranged a face to face interview with Cook though them, but the problem was he was a busy man and I hadn't yet passed my driving test. The solution... I turned up at Layer Road one morning and got a lift to the club's then training ground at Essex Uni in a minibus with the Youth Team. While training was taking place, Micky gave up his time to talk with me and we had a lovely chat, he was a top bloke (he arranged for my lift to training because that was the type of guy he was). I recorded the whole thing and it took me days to type it all up.

I had to wait for a lift back to Layer Road after training and spent the rest of the morning chatting with Joe Dunne who had to sit out first team training because he was injured. Another top bloke and great chat.

The ironic thing is, Dunne later went on to take over as Youth Team boss and the final interview I done for the fanzine was with him in the old Youth Team portacabin at Layer Road. It was another great interview, which took a long time to write up - so long I made it a two-parter, but sadly never had the time to publish part two as life got too busy and the fanzine came to an end


Lovely Daniel, thanks so much for that memory. You have also probably answered a question I had as well, because it seems like I do have a full set (I remember you sending out unsold copies a while back). I have the following:

Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
The Lost Issue
Issue 4
Issue 6
Issue 7
Issue 8
Issue 9
Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 12
Issue 13

I'm guessing that must therefore be the full set?

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #18

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:42 - Oct 6 with 138 viewsDaniel

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:23 - Oct 6 by wessex_exile

Lovely Daniel, thanks so much for that memory. You have also probably answered a question I had as well, because it seems like I do have a full set (I remember you sending out unsold copies a while back). I have the following:

Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
The Lost Issue
Issue 4
Issue 6
Issue 7
Issue 8
Issue 9
Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 12
Issue 13

I'm guessing that must therefore be the full set?


Issue 5 - 'Simply DeVINE' - it included a Wessex Diary?
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:53 - Oct 6 with 136 viewsDaniel

I've managed to find the original interview. Might be a big post, but here goes...

Micky Cook Interview

You haven't always been at Colchester United, what did you get up to between retiring from the game and taking the youth managers job?
I was away from Colchester United for about eight or nine years. I spent four seasons at Wivenhoe as coach and manager with Jeff Bennett. That was a good four years. Our game plan was to reach the Conference in five years. Come year four we'd won two championships and done really well, but the money suddenly dried up, so our aim of Conference football came to an abrupt end. By that time the community office job at Colchester became available. I done that for three years and set up the programme from scratch. It was an award-winning programme. We were awarded £15,000 for being second best in the country. I was proud of that achievement. From there I was head hunted and spent nearly two years at Pakfin, before Steve Wignall invited me back as youth team manager. It was a bit turbulent, but certainly a good learning curve.

You hold the record for the most appearances by a player in a Colchester shirt, do you see that record ever being broken?
I think all records can be broken. I think Karl Duguid's capable of hitting that mark, just as long as he can keep injury free and keep playing. He's a fit lad, I'm looking over my shoulder at him. He has the appetite and enthusiasm for the game. If anybody can do it, I think Doogie can. For the record, Duguid has currently played 238 league and cup games - 457 off Micky's record!

As a player, what were your most memorable games?
When we played and beat Leeds United in my second professional season at Colchester, that was a big one for me. I was a sub on the day, but I played in a lot of the rounds and the league games leading up to it. It was a wonderful experience from a player's point of view. There were some other good ones. We knocked Southampton out of the League Cup at the Dell. Peter Shilton was in goal, I was playing against Mike Channon in those days. We beat them 1-0 with Barry Dominey scored the winner - a header against Shilts.
Another memorable one was when I captained the side at Layer Road, against Manchester United in the Third Round of the FA Cup. I've got a nice photograph of Martin Buchan and I shaking hands. We thought we'd done enough to go up to Old Trafford when Jimmy Greenhoff popped up on the back stick with five minutes to go. Obviously they were a quality side in those days and we knew Greenhoff had the ability to ghost in. We stopped him and stopped him, but like all quality players, he was still able to find that one chance, so we got beat 1-0.
Derby was another good one. We had two games against them in the League Cup. I played against Leighton James, a Welsh international, and a tricky winger. That nearly saw me go off to the Midlands, playing against him and doing well. There was a lot of speculation that I was on my way to Derby, but obviously that didn't happen. Cup football always springs to mind, but we did achieve two promotions, which was very gratifying. Cup games are one-off, two-offs and three-offs, where-as to get promotion you've got to be consistent for a considerable number of games. Those two seasons will always be good memories for me.

Who where the best players you played with?
Looking at the influence that I played with, I'd say my best players are those I played with when I started as a youngster. In those days you had players helping, supporting you and rating every pass you made. I had something like fifteen or sixteen games of exactly that, with the likes of Bobby Cram, John Kurila, Mick Mahon, Dave Simmons, Ray Crawford, Ken Jones, Brian Gibbs and Jimmy Oliver. They were very helpful, very supportive, and that was Dick Graham's trade. He had the knack of getting the best out of the old pros that probably had one or two good seasons left in them.

You've been at Layer Road for twenty five years now, when would you say in that period that the club was at its peak?
I can't tell you the exact season, but we were in the old Third Division, in the days of Trevor Lee. That probably for me was one of the best teams I have ever played in. We led the league for many months, but just sort of fell away at the death, and the fans were saying we'd been told not to get promoted, which is of course rubbish. Every player wants to play at the highest level. I would say that particular season, the club was in as good a shape as any to springboard up to a higher flight, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

As a player, who had the biggest influence on your career?
There were many really. Dick Graham is probably near the top of the pile. He gave me my chance. I've had some wonderful people that have helped me. All the managers, such as the likes of Jimmy Smith and Bobby Roberts. Bobby from a coaching point of view was my inspiration. He as a manager and a coach would challenge us to think things through ourselves. I've been very lucky really, I've had some excellent people that have helped me with my thinking and my career. I don't think there is just one person because each stage of your career is slightly different.

What would you say has been your biggest achievement at the club?
Playing wise, it was playing all those games. I know many people in high positions that have tremendous respect for that achievement. In my coaching career, I feel my biggest achievement was my part I played in Lomana Tresor Lua Lua. Many people don't know how much involvement I had with his progress, you only have to talk to Lomana and he'd back up what I am saying. There was such a raw talent there. I let him go because he wasn't doing things right, but then I took him back and a lot of people questioned my judgement. I did a lot of coaching with him, I certainly didn't teach him how to do what he can do, that is just god given, but what I gave him in such a short period of time was an introduction to the professional game and the expectations. I coached him for well over eighteen months, doing some one-on-ones as well. When you see him get to the edge of the box and take a lot of people on, those were the sort of things him and I done a lot of work on. From a coaching point of view Lomana was a big achievement. Two and a quarter million says it all and helping set the clubs transfer record I'm obviously proud of.

Your position at the club is Director of Youth Football, what does this role involve?
Everything. Because we have limited resources, you do everything. I have Ade Webster and Teresa Lock helping, but Geoff Harrop has just left to join Rushden & Diamonds. I wear two hats. It ranges from many things, from driving the minibus to making sure the kit gets to where it needs to get to. The real job is working with the boys on the training field and sorting out an action plan for their development and overseeing that. It's very time consuming and it's very gratifying to see. I have responsibility for the School of Excellence kids, we have 120 kids there and I have to sort out their coaching syllabus and oversee that. I manage the under 19's on matchdays… I'd have withdrawal symptoms if I didn't get on the pitch somewhere. And there is the coaching, which is my expertise anyway being a full A licence coach.

What is the most difficult aspect of your role at the club?
Trying to get people to appreciate the value of youth. That's it.

Are you involved in first team affairs in any way?
The link I have now is not as much as it used to be. It's my job to liase with Steve Whitton. He's obviously got views and opinions, which I have to take on board and pass on to the kids. When Steve Wignall went, I was joint acting manager with Steve. We paired up for a couple of games against Stoke and Bristol Rovers, which was quite nice. I had more of a part to play when Steve Wignall was around, but that said, my job is very time consuming and I'm more than happy with my current role at the football club.

Would you like to one day go into first team management and would you ever consider taking over as manager of the Colchester United?
I actually applied a while ago, but it is a very difficult job. My heart goes out to Steve and any other manager, particularly in this climate where money is so tight. I think it is a very difficult job. If you can be successful, the world is your oyster. I guess I'd have to consider that as and when it came up. At this moment in time I'm happy doing what I'm doing. If opportunities arise, you consider them at the time. I wouldn't want to say no, but then I wouldn't want to say yes without knowing what the job is, particularly if it is going to be very difficult and you're having to work with one arm tied behind your back.

Most U's fans won't have seen much of Marc Canham, David Hadrava, Triston Chambers or Glenn Williamson, what would you say are their qualities and who do you think will progress furthest in the game?
I think all four have potential. It was my job to get them this opportunity, it's their job to grab that opportunity. They all need a bit of luck. Mine was when we were 3-0 down at Wrexham as a youngster, I was on the bench, and Dick Graham said to me at half time "go on son, on you go, make a name for yourself". It's about opportunity and what they make of it. I think with all things being equal, given that they work hard and they're all given that opportunity, they're all capable of earning a living from the game.

Last season, the youth team had a fantastic year, how do you see them shaping up this year?
Yes we did have a fantastic year. This year we've got a lot of youngsters. Last year we had quite a few third years and quite a few second years, where-as this year we have over 50% of new intake. I think we'll do OK, but the bottom line is getting the older boys to come through. We need Opara to see his potential. Many people haven't seen the best of Lloyd yet. Ben Cranfield is very mobile and knows where the goal is. This year it's a case of bring those boys through for Steve. If the team are having a good season, then the boys come into the job every day upbeat, buoyant and perceptive, where-as if things are not going so well, it's a harder path to tread. I doubt we'll do the unbeaten run again. That was just exceptional and doesn't happen too often, but it's a target to aim for. Our main aim is the development, but it's always good to be in a winning environment.

Of the players within this year's youth set-up, who do you consider to be the brightest prospect?
It would be wrong of me to single out one or two players. If people want to know the answer to that, come and see us, we could do with a bit more support at Garrison B. What Colchester United represents is opportunity, whether a player is 16 or coming up to 19, there's a chance of playing in the first team. We've seen Thomas Pinault playing at 18, Dean Morgan playing at 17/18, and Lomana came in at an early age. If you're good enough and you want it enough, there's an opportunity there for you.

Who would you say is the best player to progress through the clubs youth ranks?
There's two really. I think Mark Kinsella has to be the main one. He wasn't the biggest financial success for the club, but anybody who's got any idea about football will look at Mark and know that he is a talented footballer. I didn't have a lot of time with Mark. I had no involvement with his development, but I was a fan of him from his early days. He's such a committed professional, he gives 100%, cares about his work and he always goes out and makes an impact. Lomana is still to prove in the Premiership that he has that consistency factor, but certainly he can do stuff that nobody else can, that's for sure.

Are there any former youths, which the club didn't sign professional, that you feel will come back to haunt us?
No, because of a couple of things. By me saying no, I'm hoping that some of the boys that have been through the mill will pick up the gauntlet and show us. Stuff happens to the boys when they get rejected. One thing I would say about the modern day lad is their toughness and resilience is not like it used to be. In this day and age, they don't take rejection very well and it has a very devastating effect on the kids. Their perception of where they should be to where they end up is planets apart. Many of them stop playing the game, but Jack Wignall's still out there. He's a very determined, focused young man and is currently at Cambridge City. Ollie Blackwell is another young lad that I believe could show us what he can do. Andy Walker is floating about the circuit, he had recently been with Exeter. There are still several lads still about, but it's all about opportunity.
What I'd love to be able to do is manufacture a reality pill or medicine that I could give all these boys coming through the door. Three years go like that and they have to make the most of the opportunity they're given. Kids today think they can do everything. They think they can be a party animal. They think they can socialise when they like and their work is complementary to that, where-as I'm saying to them to be successful, you've almost got to live like a monk. I tell the boys that if they're going to have a social time, than it's a Saturday night, back home with their friends and that's it. The rest of the time they should be at home resting and eating properly, becoming a student of the game. They all nod as if they understand that, but I don't think they apply that very well.

Geoff Harrop left the club over the summer to join Rushden & Diamonds, will he be missed and will he be replaced?
Yeah, he'll be missed big time. I've missed him already. We worked closely, almost as a partnership. There hasn't been a green light for me to replace him yet. I'm hoping that happens sooner rather than later. It's a huge job and can't be done with just our existing staff. It might be that I have to get somebody in part time. Okay that's fine, but I need to get a new person on board as soon as I can. Geoff worked very hard and has left a huge hole.

When trying to commit a young player to the clubs youth set-up, how do you sell the club?
"If you're good enough son, you'll get your opportunity here". If you look at a lot of the Premiership clubs, they're scouring all over Europe, the Far East and the Third World for players. They're signing international, ready-made players with pedigree for a very small amount of time and money. Where-as we being a small club and with the current financial situation, now more than any other time, we see youth development as a very important issue. It's about selling the club for opportunity. If the players are good enough, want it enough and meet the requirements, they'll make it.

Finally, what sort of season do you see the club having as a whole?
Steve's got the boys really working hard and there's a lot of talent there. I think we'll be OK and have a decent season. Whether the playoffs and that are likely who knows, but you need challenges. Looking at the boys they're all working hard, there's a good team sprit and Steve's got them playing football. You don't need injuries to one or two key players, especially when you're running a tight ship. Take Scott Fitzgerald for example. We don't need him out any longer than he is. He's such a influential and integral part of the set-up. I'm very positive, I think the boys will do well and I hope the fans have a lot to cheer about.
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:59 - Oct 6 with 134 viewswessex_exile

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:42 - Oct 6 by Daniel

Issue 5 - 'Simply DeVINE' - it included a Wessex Diary?


Aaah, looks like I'm missing that one then - I assumed the Lost Issue must have been Issue 5 by another name. Don't suppose you've got a box of them tucked under your bed...

...or a scanner?

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #18

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 19:53 - Oct 6 with 127 viewsDaniel

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 18:59 - Oct 6 by wessex_exile

Aaah, looks like I'm missing that one then - I assumed the Lost Issue must have been Issue 5 by another name. Don't suppose you've got a box of them tucked under your bed...

...or a scanner?


I have a box of them in my spare room. Message me your address and i'll post one.
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 20:10 - Oct 6 with 125 viewswessex_exile

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 19:53 - Oct 6 by Daniel

I have a box of them in my spare room. Message me your address and i'll post one.


You're a star Daniel - will do!

Up the U's
Poll: How will we do in 2016/17
Blog: Letters from Wiltshire #18

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 20:12 - Oct 6 with 124 viewsghughes11

Two great posts! Thanks guys.

Always great to read these interviews with hindsight.

Keep 'em coming!

Poll: What was the main reason for the Col U win versus Carlisle?

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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 20:38 - Oct 6 with 116 viewsDaniel

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 20:12 - Oct 6 by ghughes11

Two great posts! Thanks guys.

Always great to read these interviews with hindsight.

Keep 'em coming!


"What is the most difficult aspect of your role at the club?
Trying to get people to appreciate the value of youth. That's it."

How football changes. It's probably the thing Robbie Cowling values more than anything now!
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Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 19:37 - Oct 7 with 83 viewsghughes11

Letters from Wiltshire #07 on 20:38 - Oct 6 by Daniel

"What is the most difficult aspect of your role at the club?
Trying to get people to appreciate the value of youth. That's it."

How football changes. It's probably the thing Robbie Cowling values more than anything now!


Marc Canham, David Hadrava, Triston Chambers or Glenn Williamson - which one of these would have scored the winning penalty versus Palace, go out on loan and come back to the club at the start of a new season, start in every game, score a great goal and sign a new 3-year deal!

Poll: What was the main reason for the Col U win versus Carlisle?

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