Alfreton Town

Community Award for Academy-Links

Last night at the Celtic Manor golf resort Alfreton Town won the coveted award of Community Scheme of Year Award earning the club not only the prestigious title but also an added bonus of 10k.

In January 2014 Alfreton teamed up with my company Academy-Links to run the community scheme and deliver my brand of coaching to the community and schools across the Alfreton area. Considering our involvement started only a few months ago it is an amazing achievement by my coaching team to successfully deliver week in week out the level of coaching sessions that I want associated with me and my company and the football club.

I am proud of the work both Academy-links and Alfreton Town are doing with the local community as we look forward to building and furthering our relationship that will only benefit the people and  the community of Alfreton.

Academy-Links

I have been very busy lately with my coaching company Academy-Links.Our new collaboration with Alfreton Town has officially been launched and our coaches have started in schools across the Alfreton area. The response from teachers, parents and more importantly the kids has been amazing. Our half-term camps are also proving really popular and we are hosting another 3 day camp in Doncaster during the next May break. Me and my coaching team are looking forward to continue building our relationship with schools, communities and the children themselves. I am a firm believer that we as professional footballers should be positive role models as we as a nation try and get our kids fit and active and avoid them spending hours on gadgets a day.

Merry Christmas

Our season began on a sunny Saturday afternoon on 10th August with a 1-0 defeat to Dartford. Since then we have gone on to beat a lot of the so called bigger clubs in the division. Home and away wins against Kidderminster Harriers who at the beginning of the campaign were tipped as one of the favourites for promotion. On the other side of the coin is us, Alfreton Town a relative minnow punching well above its weight amongst the heavyweight ex league clubs like Luton Town, Cambridge and Grimsby Town to name but a few . Everyone loves an underdog whether it be on the football stage, in the boxing ring or on a golf course there has been lots of minnows through history who have conquered and slain their own goliath. We weren’t everyone’s favourites for relegation but we are defying all the odds and currently sit in 4th position and  hold one of those all coveted playoff spots. Our home game this weekend was against our opening day opposition Dartford and after a 2-1 victory we are now lying in 4th position coming up to the busy Christmas period. With 4 games in 2 weeks our small squad is going to be stretched to its limits but with no suspensions and only 1 of the boys carrying a slight knock we go into the Christmas and new year period full of optimism.

I would like to wish you all have a very merry Christmas and hope Santa Claus brings you everything you put on your wish list but spare a thought for the professional footballer who has to work all through the Christmas and new year festivities. A small price I gladly pay for doing the job I love.

Merry Christmas

John

50/50 chance!!!

Having picked up a nasty knock to my knee in Saturdays loss to Luton Town, I now find myself in a race to be fit for our conference premier clash away to Kidderminster Harriers this coming weekend. Regimented time slots of Ibuprofen to reduce the vast swelling and packing my knee with ice should hopefully (fingers crossed) see me fit for the game. It is something I hate but being injured is part and parcel of the job and a risk I suppose all footballers take as soon as they step on to the playing field. With a football career being a very precarious one injuries are something that every player is hoping to avoid.
The injury that footballers fear the most must be any major ligament or tendon damage. Especially common is ligament damage to a players knee. Medial and cruciate tears are common in football today but thankfully with the advances in medical science a once career ending injury can now be treated and mended and back on the road to recovery within 6 to 9 months. The great Brian Clough was one such player when in 1962 had to retire from career ending knee injury.
As a player who has spent most of my career in the lower leagues any major injury would financially destroy me. We are not on the millions that the Beckham’s, Rooney’s and Ronaldo’s of this world are on. Any injury at any level is devastating no matter who you are but with most lower league players having to work after football I wouldn’t mind the cushion of an extra million or two in my bank account to soften the blow as I contemplate my retirement.

I will certainly keep you updated on my injury and hopefully I will be ok to play Saturday

Regards

John

Heavy Defeat at the hands of Luton Town

What a whirlwind start to the game today. We found ourselves 4-0 down in the first 18 minutes. Luton who are one of if not the biggest club in the conference premier came to our own turf and totally blasted us out of the water and dominated us from start to finish. The game at 18 minutes was over, or to use an old cliché ‘done and dusted’. It was over as a contest and although we gave it a go after that we had to concede that on the day we were beaten by the better team.

Like all heavy defeats though we have a chance to put it right in a couple of days and hopefully all the boys will chomping at the bit to put that defeat to the back of their minds and get us back on course in the league.

 

Weather playing its part

A week of unbelievably high winds and bad weather conditions has seen our training schedule hampered with only one training session allowed to go ahead. This leads to a lot of self-discipline, me personally I cant NOT train during the week because I would feel unprepared for Saturdays games. My motto as always is ‘train as you play’..

 However my dog is of a different view as we go out on long gruelling runs at a decent pace seem to have him shattered for the rest of the day. 

No Wembley this season

We crashed out of the FA Trophy at the hands of Nuneaton on Saturday so my dream of running out on the hallowed Wembley turf has been put on hold for another year at least.

We didn’t deserved to lose but likewise if I am being honest we probably didn’t deserve to win either and a draw would have been the fair result but fair play to them they scored and kept us out so progressed to the next round. I will always give credit where credit is due and we were beaten by a wonderful free kick from their centre forward.

We can now look forward to and concentrate on the rest of our league campaign as we entertain Luton Town at home on Saturday. Luton are a team with a vast football league history and superb support so Saturday should be a great game with a great atmosphere.  A win would cement our top 6 place and probably push us into the play-off spots and it would be great to be in that position approaching Christmas.

Regards

John