Guess which local football manager is most looking forward to 3.00pm on Saturday? Danny Bloor will take his Eastbourne Borough squad on the long haul westwards to Bath City – and they are straining at the leash.
Bloor has assembled – and coached and inspired – the most exciting Borough team for years, and he has not the slightest intention of being distracted by disputes or politics. “Of course I am delighted that all parties involved have found a way forward. But my players and my coaching staff are just in love with our football and they just want to play.
“On Tuesday evening, while others were negotiating, we were out there training – and it was honestly one of the best sessions we’ve had for ages. The lads are absolutely bursting at the moment – with energy and positivity and commitment. The spirit is sky-high – and we just can’t wait for the next game.
“Anyone who was at the Lane last Saturday will have shared that fantastic atmosphere. There is noise, there is energy, there is just a greed for our football. We might not be perfect but we are playing on the front foot, scoring goals and giving everything.”
The Borough coach – that’s the one with four wheels, not the one in a track-suit – will scarcely need a tankful of diesel for the 150-mile motorway haul. It will be fuelled by Danny and his staff’s uncrushable energy. The Sports boss was also encouraged on Tuesday night by the sight of a Chris Whelpdale coming successfully through his first full training session for three months.
The midfield creator, frustrated by a foot injury, has not played since October, but it’s finally looking optimistic. “During the curtailed lock-down season, Chris was literally the best player in our division. He needs probably ten days or a fortnight before he is match-fit, but it will be like signing a new player. We also have Dom Hutchinson back on Saturday after a Covid confinement.
“The bodies are fit and the attitude is incredible. Bath City is a tough place to go but a brilliant place to play your football – and then on Tuesday (25th) we head for Dulwich Hamlet with their 2,000-plus crowd. Those are the games you want to be involved in. That’s why we play football. We are two points off the play-offs, scoring goals for fun – it’s what we do!”