Read a chapter of “The Second Season Syndrome”

Wednesday 19th July 2000

Weymouth is a lovely place. After training yesterday we went to Chesil Beach and it is fair to say some of the lads were more interested in the wildlife than they cared to let on, hey Clee? Kidder? Yeah, you tried to hide it! I managed to have a good chat with Leathers this morning. I brought up the delicate subject of his divorce. His wife left him last season for an ex-team-mate, it properly messed Leathers up and he was on the missing list for a few games. I decided not to tell him too much about my summer and the shrink, Dr Moore. Leathers seemed ok though, looking forward to the new season. Turner called the hotel; he reckoned he had just seen the “next Walter Zenga.” I said to him, “why do I need a new one when I have the original and it still works?” I’ll keep an eye on the lad though, we could do with a young ‘keeper.

 

I’ve decided to change the side around today; I am trying to give everyone a chance to impress. The Wessex Stadium is bigger than Field Mill, it holds 10,000, I wonder how many will be here tonight? Benny gets a start; Krios will be on the bench. Walter will start; Onesy and Jorgy also come in. I plan to have a look at Huds and Cawley at some point too. I gave the boys a brief team talk, reminding them “I haven’t picked the side for Macclesfield yet, so you all have a chance!”

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Well, that was fairly uneventful. Only 1,010 braved the balmy July evening sunshine and they saw Weymouth have the better of the first half, peppering us with shots and eventually going ahead after 35 minutes. We were pretty average. I made changes at half time, again, introducing Krios and Huds. Not much improved, so I brought the rest on. Finally, Ethers headed home from Onesy’s corner to get us a draw. I’m not too worried, pre-season is never a good indicator (especially when you are not winning.) It’s all about fitness and sorting out the jigsaw.

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