Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Never mind the Balkans...
PUBLISHED: 18:11 17 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:07 23 August 2010
MODERN DAY non-league football never fails to surprise me. Who d have thought back in March 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out (stay with me, I do have a point) and we were playing the likes of Corby (which is a bit like Bosnia come to think of it) that
MODERN DAY non-league football never fails to surprise me. Who'd have thought back in March 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out (stay with me, I do have a point) and we were playing the likes of Corby (which is a bit like Bosnia come to think of it) that we'd be speaking of Fleet players flying out to the Balkans on international duty.
It really is a little bizarre that, in between playing Wrexham and Woking in the league, three of "our boys" have been parachuted into Sarajevo to take on a country that didn't exist 15 years ago.
And given the somewhat stop-start nature of their journey to Bosnia, Lance Cronin, Luke Moore and James Smith would probably have found a parachute landing infinitely easier than their various modes of transportation over the past 72 hours.
An overnight stay in Vienna, two aborted flights to Sarajevo and a diversion via Split all culminating in a six-hour coach journey and 90 minutes on the wrong end of a sound thrashing isn't exactly what Liam Daish would call "ideal preparation" for the Woking game.
Meanwhile, back home in Blighty (if Essex indeed counts as such), it is interesting to note developments just across the river.
Sceptical Fleet fans may wonder and shake their heads occasionally at all the goings-on with name changes and MyFC and what have you, but pity the poor denizens of Grays Athletic.
Chairman/owner/manager and Jack-Of-All-Trades Mick Woodward has again announced his resignation as manager and threatened to abandon the club he has raised from obscurity (except for the small matter of his about-turn in the last day or so where's he's said he might just be persuaded to stay on if the fans are nice to him - again).
Mick does this with alarming regularity, throwing his toys out of his pram when the fans turn on him, frightening his public into thinking he's going to pull his money out, then back he comes for more when he fancies a bit of tinkering with the team and a spell as manager.
Of course he's right when he says once one's family is dragged into the equation by bone-headed supporters who can't separate football from real life, then perhaps it's time to take a step back from the game. But he's done it so many times now, one wonders how long he can carry on crying wolf.
I only mention this because if anybody has read the various witch hunts on the MyFC forums conducted by the odd disaffected lynch mob that feels cheated of its measly £35, you'd wonder why anyone would want to run a football club.
Woodward doesn't like the fact he has a smattering of critics in a club averaging gates of 600. He should try the experience of airing his laundry in front of 30,000 onlookers. Then again, at least he could try his hand at picking the team, just like he does at Grays...