Our weekly sports columnist finds the net on his Chatteris debut on Saturday afternoon against Mepal.Picture: ADRIAN MORTON.

The search is finally over. 

After a couple of months of unrivalled highs followed by crushing lows, the higher-level dream and new home I so desperately craved has been found a little further into the Fens than I expected.

Life and sport, has a funny way of working out and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

So after ignoring my relative Connor’s pleas as I tried my luck at Wisbech St Mary Reserves, March Town United/Reserves and King’s Lynn Town Reserves, his wishes finally came true as I attended a training session with Chatteris Town last week.

Knowing just him and a couple of lads who I’d enjoyed pre-season with at March, I was surprised by how quickly I was made to feel welcome. 

A humble, determined and friendly bunch greeted me with open arms and that continued when I received several messages on What’s App after it was confirmed I was signing for the Lilies.

‘A humble, determined and friendly bunch greeted me with open arms and that continued when I received several messages after it was confirmed I was signing.’

The summer’s ups and downs took another turn on Friday when my planned first-team debut was halted with opponents Girton failing to raise a side. Yet I had a refreshing 90 minutes with the club’s reserves in a 3-1 friendly win at Mepal, which saw me net a rare goal from open play.

With top-quality lads and players everywhere, I’m not sure whether my football will come at Step Eight with the first team, two levels below Lynn Reserves but higher than any other tier I’ve regularly played, or at Step 10 with Chatteris’ second-string. 

But I don’t mind as I’m going to be surrounded by like-minded men who appreciate how lucky they are to be pulling on the blue and white of Town regardless.


Spanish stars need to keep on fighting

 

It might be too little too late.

Football at the top-level has become so much more than a sport.

It’s a multi-billion pound industry, where fans have become consumers and players have been reduced to mere pawns in a money-mad world. 

The rampant commercialisation and globalisation of the beautiful game has spared little thought for fans who witness their side’s fixtures moved to whatever day, and time, that suits the TV bigwigs – as long as it can pull in the biggest audience possible.

We’re all to blame as we pour our hard-earned money into Sky Sports and BT’s coffers, while lapping up every little kick and quote of analysis from the comfort of our living rooms. 

And, other than everyone pulling the plug on our viewing habits, there’s little we can do to stop the football monster devouring all that lays in wait.

Yet there is one group of people who still have the ultimate power – and that’s the players.

The word strike makes me shudder but it’s exactly what the stars of La Liga, Spain’s top division, are considering as their bosses consider taking a
top-flight match to USA.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets were among a group of stars who attended a meeting to discuss their concern about the proposed move.

The players’ union, the AFE, said they were not consulted about the plans that would take Spanish football down the same route that has seen the NFL play matches in England.

It seems only a matter of time before our own Premier League follows suit with almost all of the biggest clubs touring far-flung countries to boost their already bulging bank accounts. Another trip abroad would benefit the bottom line – the balance sheet.

Once again it’s the fans who lose out. But thankfully it seems the men they pay to watch, who admittedly are rewarded so handsomely for the pleasure, realise without supporters, the money pit would dry up.

Someone needs to take a stand, so why not the players who actually produce the product that is watched around the globe. 

Maybe it’s time they gave something back to the people who actually pay their wages.

Top-level football is at the point of no return, so we can only hope the Spanish players keep fighting to save what’s left of the game as we know it.


YLP Sport poll

WE ASKed… 

Who’ll be the first Premier League manager to be sacked/resign this season?

You voted… 

Rafa Benitez: 7%

Jose Mourinho: 68%

Claude Puel: 18%

Other: 7%

You Said… 

@DraytonCanary: Neil Warnock often struggles at this level and Cardiff sack managers quickly sometimes. Favourite must be Pellegrini as West Ham managers are always under pressure. Hughes at Southampton is another maybe.

@KLStarsfan: Fingers firmly crossed. Jose out. Killing every fan’s passion for the club. Excellent at making smaller clubs big, also excellent at making the bigger clubs small. He’s delusional about his ability, wants top players then struggles with top players that have egos bigger than his. 

@Richiewizz: Voting Jose in more hope than expectation.

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This week’s poll…

Did the bout between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul disrespect boxing?

Yes, it was embarrassing

No, it was just
a bit of fun

Get involved, vote and comment, on Twitter
@GavinCaney