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Memories of Cardiff

By: Dave Boylen
Date: 31/05/2006

WELL what a disappointment we all had at Cardiff. It started off well, the atmosphere was electric before the game.

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Although it was a long journey, the Mariners faithful were all in truly good spirits, and the amount of young supporters who turned up at Cardiff was absolutely tremendous.

I can only hope that they will not be disheartened by the poor performance from the Town team who did not play on the day. I have to admit that Town were not at the races, Cheltenham were the better team and deserved to win the game. I cannot remember Town having a constructive shot at goal, we seemed to lack passion, players froze on the day, why?

Don't ask me, I was so disappointed I could have cried. There we were the Town faithful all fifteen thousand decked out in the Mariners' famous black and white shirts and scarves and what did we get - nothing. To mix with all the supporters before the game was a joy, so many fans who came up to me just to shake my hand and wish me all the best brought tears to my eyes. I did not realise that there were so many people who remembered me from my playing days.

I also think that the stadium is overrated, lovely big dome but the playing surface was not very good, not that it would have made any difference to Town because we did not play at all. The main complaint from nearly everybody I spoke to was the walk from where we had to park the coaches, in some cases a two mile walk, and also the GTFC Handicapped Supporters had to walk the same distance, their members had to be pushed in a wheelchair nearly two miles away from the ground.

Do I want to go back to Cardiff again? I don't think so, our coach on the way back from Cardiff was a sad bunch of people indeed, all the humour and singing had all gone out of the window, and I have to say that the main topic of conversation was the players' performance out on the pitch, the supporters felt that they had been let down and I have got to agree with them.

To go all that way to Cardiff in one day like the majority of fans did, I think that had the lads given a decent performance the disappointment would not have been so bad. I have expressed myself on behalf of the supporters, now there are a few questions that need answering. Why was a statement made at the beginning of the week in relation to Russell Slade agreeing to a new contract at the Mathew Le Tissier evening, then it did not happen? Not very good for morale in the dressing room, especially before a huge game in Cardiff at the weekend, and also with quite a few players out of contract the manager is not giving the right signs across to his troops.

I hope that by the time you are reading this it is all settled one way or the other. We certainly need to be focused on next season and what players we need and what players will go. Remember this - nobody is bigger than the club. If people don't want to stay let them go, it would have been a lot better for the club if the manager's future had been settled before the game at Cardiff. I am sure that everybody concerned in the affair will have a legitimate answer, but I am afraid that it was a mistake to have the problem hanging over the club before this very vital game.

Dave Boylen.

Tomorrow Dave gives his views on the departure of Russell Slade from the club, written subsequent to this piece.

What are your memories of Cardiff. Describe your day out in Wales and we will publish the best contributions. Click here to submit your article!

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