I asked club captain Dan Webb to produce a lockdown blog which I knew would be of interest to our supporters and I think you will agree that he has again lived up to expectations. I also spoke to Dan to get some further thoughts on the current Coronavirus situations. Dan’s wife is pregnant and I asked him how he would feel about training at the moment and he said he would be nervous and would want full details of what measures were in place to make it safe. Family has to come first above football and he can fully understand how some players are reluctant to return to training. Hopefully by the time Hitchin recommence the situation will be much improved and fears will have been allayed. In the meantime Dan says players can keep themselves fit by following personal training schedules
Dan feels that one result of the pandemic will be a reduction in playing budgets and he feels this may result in a levelling of the playing field as clubs will be closer together in what they can afford to pay. This would hopefully lead to closer competition while he also thinks more local players are likely to be used. Dan is like most players in that he cannot wait to return to playing again. He loves playing but does not like the idea of playing in an empty stadium as he feels a game would just not be the same without supporters present.
As club captain Dan has kept in touch with the management team speaking to Mark Burke, Adam Parker and Brett Donnelly. It is interesting to see that in his blog Dan says that while the players keep in touch now and then the group chat has dried up a bit. He puts this down to the fact that in the season players see each other at least three times a week and there is continual banter but through the pandemic the players are obviously unable to meet and have their own problems associated with the crisis to deal with so the banter dries up.
Dan asked me to thank the Guinness Guzzlers who sponsored him this season. He looks forward to meeting up with them when possible and having a pint of Guinness or two.
So many thanks to Dan and here is his lockdown blog – Roy…
Roy’s asked me to put another blog out as Brett is still drunk at the bottom of his garden, Parks went out on his BMX last Tuesday and hasn’t been seen since and Burkey is probably the only Englishman on a summer holiday right now because it cost him £3.50 for a return flight!
Firstly, on behalf of all the players, I’d like to send our condolences to the family of Fred Andrews. Personally, I didn’t know Fred all that well, but he was always one of those friendly faces at the mighty Top Field. As players, we knew that he was one of the many people who are invaluable to the club and who keep it ticking over year on year. RIP Fred, you will be missed.
Also, I’d like to congratulate and thank everybody involved with keeping the club alive and planning for its future, whatever that may be. The donations and funding initiatives going on behind the scenes, such as the 50/50 draw, will make such a difference when the dust settles.
It’s been such a change from seeing everybody three or four times a week and now the team haven’t been together since 19th March. The boys all keep in touch now and then, but the group chat has dried up a bit now, with everybody having their own priorities to deal with although Del Boy still sends us the odd cryptic message after a few Gin’s. We’ve used a video Poker app a few times to have a catch up but more importantly, take each other’s money at a game of cards.
In the first instance, there was a little 5K run competition setup with many taking part. I didn’t see the final leader board but I’m pretty sure Jake Hutchinson won with a ridiculous sub 20 minute time. Here are a few individual reports;
Jake Hutchinson; Winner by some distance – 19 minutes I believe!
Chesney (Marcus Crowther) & Pob (Josh CS); Chesney the dark horse in second place with Pob just behind, though he did find the flattest straight line to run on.
Greeny (Jack Green); a classic Greeny performance, probably ran through a brick wall or two on route.
Digger (Brett); A reputable mid table effort and also longest distance submitted overall (he is 37 you know).
LB (Lewis Barker); Poor effort from such a grafter on the pitch, may have slowed down to get a girl’s number.
Parks; considering he just had keyhole surgery he submitted some respectable walks and bike rides but unfortunately for him, was omitted from the competition.
He didn’t take part because he’s injured but Egghead (Josh B) has a PB of 17 mins something…unbelievable.
The current most active and fittest players we have, probably even before COVID-19 hit, are Beaker (Alex Marsh), Chaz (Charlie Horlock) & JD (Jhai Dhillon), closely followed by me and Ben (Belly) Walster of course. They all seem to be sticking at it too. Each day JD makes sure all of Instagram knows that he still has a six pack and just as many muscles on his back.
I think the leagues at our level made the right decisions at the right times, but it seems that there isn’t much consistency across the football world, with everybody having their opinion but let’s face it, you’ll never please everybody. We’ll certainly miss not playing the back end of the season, the presentation evening and of course, the end of season tour of Benidorm.
I hope you are all safe and well in these difficult times and I’m sure you are missing football, sport, pubs and everything else that matters in life as much as I am. Personally, the wife and I are lucky enough to still be in full time work and being in office-based roles, are able to work from home on the laptop. For some of the other lads, the club and you, the fans, I’m not sure it has been so easy, but I wish you all the best and hopefully as a nation, we’re over the hill and heading in the right direction.
Stay safe and see you soon.