Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
Half Way to Paradise
By: Dave Boylen
WELL here we are, it is the morning after the big game against Lincoln, and I am a lot better than yesterday after a weekend of feeling awful through having an infection which hit me and knocked me out as if I had been tackled by Nobby Stiles in his heyday.
The mighty Mariners went to Sincil Bank on Saturday and got that all important win after a gap of nearly forty years, yes believe it or not, it is forty years since we won at Lincoln. A big part of the day to me was the incredible support the Mariners are getting in this most important run in to the end of the season. The determination of the players to put right the humiliation that they suffered against Lincoln only a few weeks previously was there for all to see. Every player helped one another out, tackling and battling for every ball. There were also more shots at goal than I have seen in previous games. The team spirit was all there to see and in the end Town got the right result for all the energy that they put into the game, they thoroughly deserved the win.
But a note of caution: Saturday's game is only the first hurdle. Today as I write this column Town are playing the second leg this evening, which I will stick my neck out and say that we will win, I think in style and convincingly by three goals to nil. You have to be positive and I really want to go to Cardiff because everybody who I know that has been has said it is one hell of a stadium.
The other interesting talking point at Blundell Park at the moment is the future of the squad we have at the moment, how will it change for next season. It was quite interesting to note that Lincoln have been in the play-offs for the last three years, and each year with totally different squads. The lack of money in the two bottom leagues means that players normally only get offered one year contracts, and if they have a good season, like for instance Michael Reddy they are in demand up and down the country; Rob Jones is in the same position.
Town's players I am sure will be in demand, they have always been in the top three this season, which shows they are capable of a consistent run of form.
Also the manager Russell Slade will be in demand. Russell has brought stability to this club, I do not have to explain his record at Blundell Park it speaks for itself, and I think the way he has conducted himself in these Play-Offs and his approach to the media in rallying his troops has been first class.
This week is a huge week for the football club, if we get to Cardiff it will be a great achievement after looking down and out not long ago at Lincoln with the five nil drubbing, it could have gone either way with the players, the humiliation of being kept out on the football pitch at half time I can assure you it would have upset a few players from my era, but no the lads have just got on with it and hopefully tonight it will be all systems go for Cardiff, where I think that it will be Wycombe who will in my opinion be the finalists along with Town.
I must be honest and say that I will always look for bringing in our home grown young players who we have cultivated in our own backyard, because that is the way forward in my opinion, and also to the future of this Football club of ours, which cannot go out and pay a lot of money for players. At least we are moving in the right direction the Youth team have won a Final this year, and hopefully the first team will continue to make strides up the divisions. Also the advent of the new stadium is not very far away I can assure everybody. Under John Fenty this club is beginning to take off once again, Here's to Cardiff!
Dave Boylen, once a Mariner always a Mariner.
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