I’d like to open with the relieving
news that the 6-month ban from football that was hanging over
me, which would have meant I couldn’t have continued
coaching the team, has been reduced to a two-month touchline
ban, which is far less serious. I had to go up to the FA on
Tuesday and face cross-examination from an FA lawyer: it was
a nerve-racking experience. Luckily our lawyers were very
good, and put a very strong case forward. I always thought
that the ban was too harsh. It’s been a huge weight
on my shoulders over the summer. People might not have noticed,
because I’ve been going about the place smiling as usual,
but it’s always been on the back of my mind.
That was the end of a pretty topsy-turvy week. Last Wednesday
against Welling we played excellently. After an OK first half
(we went in at one apiece) we took them apart with a display
of exciting attacking football, and everybody went home happy.
Our passing was very good, and especially our counter-attacking
at pace, which we’ve been practicing in training. One
of our goals came from a corner of theirs: we won possession
and within 30 seconds it was in the back of their net. The
crowd was right behind us in the second half; it was a great
atmosphere. The only thing that ruined it slightly was their
goal after five minutes of extra time to make it 4-2.