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Archived News from February 2012

7th February 2012 12:12


CAPTAIN'S BLOG: Closing the gap
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 02 Feb 2012

Hi guys, hope you've all had a great week. We have had quite a busy period since the last time I spoke to you


We travelled to Luton last Wednesday which was followed by an around the world trip to Ebbsfleet on Saturday. Overall, as I'm sure you will agree, last week was very productive as we returned home with a points total of 7 out of 9 - which has put us in a great position.

The two away trips were very tricky but in both games I thought we gave a great account of ourselves and probably could have nicked a win in the Luton match during the second half.

The Ebbsfleet match was a total trek. I've actually been abroad and it has taken less time. We were fortunate that we were allowed to travel down on the day before the game, which was a big bonus as it took us five hours to get there. Imagine if that was on a Saturday before a game? Not cool. People ask 'is there a need for a team to travel down on the day before a game?' Yes, I believe there is. Especially to a destination which takes over 2 and a half hours. In my OPINION, for lads to be stuck on a bus for longer than this on a match day is not beneficial. Yes we have a great coach to take us there, but physically you can't have 20 players stretching their legs and walking around on the coach. Players have their own preparation and like to get mentally ready for what's ahead. As you can imagine, with 20 lads and some of the creatures we have in our squad, this could prove tricky.

I'm not good with travelling at the best of times and through my younger and crazier years I developed some kind of cabin fever. Why and how, I have no idea. If I'm in a confined area for too long then WOW, watch out! The driver was probably ten minutes from having his ears pulled off and the boys having captain Muz driving them down the M25.

When I actually got off the bus, I was sweating, felt sick and felt like I was on a moving floor. Crazy.

I had the pleasure of rooming with J.D (John Dempster). One of the more sensible boys in our camp (there's not many). Did he make me a cuppa? No he didn't! GRRRRRRR. We got on to talking about my past and I told him a few stories. I told him about the time I landed a plane. It scared him. I'll let you guys know about that some other time. I think if we say that he was shocked it might be a understatement. He must have gone to bed feeling like he had come off a Jeremy Kyle show. It's kind of scary when I talk to people about my history and it shocks them. But it makes me feel 6ft tall for the simple fact it makes me realise how far I have come and now I'm in a position in my life where I'm helping others to grow and improve. The rollercoaster of life is brilliant!

Anyway, on to the game itself. Before kick off, the changing room was lively. We've got a good mix of characters at the minute and we went on to the pitch really fired up. We had a great start and could have been ahead straight away.

We bossed the first half and could have gone in at the break 4-0 up. We netted two great goals though.

Coming out for the second half 2-0 ahead is always a tricky one as you know the opposition are gonna' come out flying as the next goal is massive. To Ebbsfleet's credit, they did just that, but we kept our shape and could have had a few more goals. Robbo (Gary Roberts) got the third to round off a great individual performance from him.

We got on the coach to hear the rubbish news about 'Dragon' (Rhys Day). I've known Dragon now for a long time and he's a great guy, who like myself, wears his heart on his sleeve and this club means a lot to him. For the last year he has grafted with injury to get him self back to where he was so he can be ready to play games. For such a freak accident to happen to him is horrible and I know how much, not just physically, but mentally this is hurting him. A BIG shout (and cuddles sssshhhhh) go out to my mate, Dragon Foot.

Injuries for a footballer are something you dread more than anything. You can't plan for them you don't ask for them and there's definitely no positives to them. They can literally turn your whole life up side down (e.g Dragon's awaiting his first baby very soon, now he's got to plan for the immediate future: physically, financially, emotionally… NOT COOL!)

A couple years back at Oxford, a routine warm up led to me missing a year of my career. After 6 weeks of rest I thought I was back ready to play. One Thursday morning I woke up for a routine 'number two' and as I went to stand up… BANG, I fell down the bog! (Haha only joking). My back had gone again. How can your back 'go' whilst having a number two? So off to the specialist I went and was out for another 8 weeks.

I grafted my socks off in those 8 weeks to get back - heart and soul, the lot. I knew if I could get back to fitness then I would be ready for the play-offs and as captain I didn't want to miss it.

The club arranged a game for me on the Tuesday as they wanted me to play on the Saturday. This was it. I was back. All my hard work… here we go. Just 15 minutes in… BANG ....AGAIN!!!!! Back gone! For a split second my whole world stopped. I couldn't believe it. Right there and then I realised my season, the playoffs and Wembley was over. It was operation time. I'm not ashamed to say that I broke down crying in the centre circle. Football is so much more than a game. I was in a bad place mentally and was pushing boundaries which I hadn't for a while. It's only for the fact that I know my self and have the tools to work with, that I stayed out of drooping in to that black hole. It was a long year and a lot of hard work and a bit of luck that I managed to get back, as I knew of people who had been force to retire with the same injury.

I'm still here though and boring you lot… haha.

On to Saturday. Massive game. We are now starting to see some movement in the league positions and finally we can close the gap. Every game now we need you more than ever.
Let's have a massive final push and really make the dream happen!!!! COME ON YOU YELLOW STAGS !!! (Haha)


Latest | February 2012