First of all a big thank you for the effort again last night. The standings haven’t been posted yet, but hopefully a total of 7 points will be enough to keep us in Division 2. It is a tough division and there are some tidy teams in it. We definitely don’t have any divine right to be there, but we are, and it is all down to the effort of the squad.
This then leads me onto my next few points.
As you all know this is a 5 a side league where we normally have a minimum of 10 guys showing up each week (although the first week I came along on my tod, there were only 5!!!). Only 8 can get stripped so ultimately each week at least a couple of guys will be disappointed and left on the sidelines.
A few things that need to be said though going forward:
1) If you have announced you are available to play, you must be fully fit to play. If you feel you will not be 100% fit, don’t say you are available for selection. This is unfair on the guys left out and is unfair on the squad on a whole. It lets everyone down.
2) Everyone willing to play should be at the pitch at least 15 mins prior to kick off. The strips will be handed out exactly 15 mins prior to KO and if you are not there, you won’t be selected. End of...
To my understanding, the whole “Northern Elite” deal, was down to a bunch of lads generally from the North East of Scotland coming along for a good crack and to support the guys that are playing. If you are selected to play then great. If you are not, you are expected to give 100% support to the lads that are.
Unfortunately for me, the only chance I ever had of getting involved with the NE is to stand on the sidelines as I am not built to play (to quote Minty “I am not overweight, I am just under height”).
I am absolutely delighted to be involved with you guys. I really enjoy it. The only really bad thing for me is letting people down by either not getting guys stripped or not playing them. I understand I am not there to be popular but in the same token, I am not there to piss people off. If that happens, I would rather spend my Tuesday nights in with the missus having the very occasional shag and let someone else pick the team.
To stay in the 2nd division, or even to move into the 1st, there needs to be hard decisions made on selections. People will get upset but it is not personal and I don’t ever want people thinking that. Decisions are made on the night for the good of NE not to keep everyone happy.
If the purpose of the NE is to give all the guys a run out every week and to change the team around for the sake of it, then get used to Divisions 4/5/6 guys because that is where we will end up and stay. I know for a fact that you guys don’t want that and I certainly don’t.
So I guess the purpose of the whole rant was to try and lay my cards on the table. I am a reasonably honest guy and will tell people straight up what I am thinking. I don’t have a problem with anyone doing the same to me in fact I would encourage it, whether it be through email, phone or next time you see me.Feel free to air any thoughts you have.