Frustration of postponements affects everybody says Truro City manager Steve Massey
THERE can be nothing more annoying for a club than to have a game postponed, writes Truro City boss Steve Massey in his latest exclusive West Briton column.
For us here at TCFC, doubts about the possibility of our Saturday game going ahead came on Tuesday the 14th.
Opponents Biggleswade advised us that they couldn't get on the pitch due to it being so wet. 'Prepare for a postponement' was the message. The inevitable phone call from Biggleswade arrived at 6pm on Friday 17th to say that the game was indeed postponed.
How frustrating! The team trained well all week and had thoroughly planned for the match with a detailed analysis of Biggleswade's individual players and set pieces. When we do get to eventually play them, that may not necessarily be the case.
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It's not just on the pitch that postponements are maddening. Although the match postponement came with enough time to stop us from making the long haul up the motorway, it was too late for the vital away trip preparations.
Players' pre-match meals and refreshments had already been bought, for example. Plus the biggest headache for many of the squad and staff is that the game will now be rearranged for a midweek slot. This means, for many TCFC players, getting time off work, plus a long and late trip back in the early hours of the morning for all.
So what do managers, coaches and players do with their Saturday off? Shopping at Ikea? Lie-ins?
Well, half the team would have played at home against Helston in the South West Peninsula League. Speaking with Hoops and Kirky after our game was postponed about who would now play for our seconds, we sent seven players from the first team up against local rivals Helston. The rest of squad were given instructions to work out and then report in on Tuesday for training back in Truro.
With the situation still to be resolved regarding new management for the second team after Anthony stepped down, I along with Hoops and Kirky were really looking forward to taking charge of the second team fixture against Helston. Unfortunately, the rain continued to fall and even this game had to be called off.
A quick look around the websites to see what other local football was being played resulted in pointing the car in the direction of Newquay to watch Godolphin v Callington in the Cornwall Senior Cup with Kirky. Our head coach, Glynn Hooper went to watch St Blazey just about get through their tough looking tie against Sticker. Winning 4-3 in the end, it was nice to hear from Hoops that one of our old (young!) boys George Swain had contributed well.
One good reason to attend the Godolphin game was to keep tabs on our talented player Jamie Lowry. He had called me on Friday evening to ask permission to play for his home club.
At that time, with half the team already earmarked to be playing for the seconds, it would have been churlish not to let him play. Jamie enjoys his football and he told me he would only be on the bench anyway. Not so, however.
When Graeme and I arrived all seemed well, with Jamie warming up in the number 12 shirt. However, a minute or two into the game, I noticed that he was dictating things – as ever – on the ball! "What the hell?" I turn to Kirky and say. "He's only playing"! I spent the rest of the game getting nervous every time a player came near Jamie. He came through safe and sound, though.
I joked with Jamie at the end of the game that he'd played nearly 20 games for us without scoring, yet it took him just two minutes to score a fabulous back-heeled goal for his home club.
All in all, we had an enjoyable afternoon with a good-sized crowd seeing Godolphin stroll through with a 3-1 win.
It was great to see so many old friends at the Godolphin match, and I couldn't have had a better companion then Kirky who, as ever, kept the crowd entertained with his famous Geordie humour.
Godolphin is a superb example of what can be achieved at a club with lots of enthusiasm and hard work. It is great credit to them that they have gone from playing in a council park at junior level to competing and succeeding with the big names in Cornish soccer.
I thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality and wish them lots of luck with their continued groundwork.