“Every week is a test, because although of course I’m now with better players, I’m also against better standard of opponents week by week.”
Will Hendon - EBFC
By Kevin Anderson
HOLA ISABEL !
A very warm welcome to the new face on our physio team. Isabel Aveirco is Portuguese – so at least Sergio no longer has to translate “ankle ligaments” and “groin strain” back into English if he wants treatment. (Although there is a Spanish Portuguese translation to cover - Ed.) Actually Isabel’s English is fine, and Eastbourne has been her second home for the past two years, since arriving here to develop her professional experience. She is a fully qualified physiotherapist, with plenty of experience, although her Borough role is the first time that she has ever been “pitchside”.
Isabel’s home town is Salreu, not far from Tavares (or it might just be the other way round, but my knowledge of Portuguese geography is only at tourist level, I’m afraid – sorry!). Benfica? FC Porto? Sporting Lisbon? I know who she supports but Isabel doesn’t want to upset anyone – you’ll have to ask her politely. And I can guarantee you a polite answer, for Isabel is the nicest and most courteous lady on the block. She has worked with private clients here in Eastbourne, as well as in care homes and hotels, but this is a new step.
“I just saw the advert and I called the Chairman, came down to a training session and talked to people, and we liked each other! I am really excited to be a part of the club and everyone has been helpful and welcoming!” We were chatting on the coach back from Chelmsford: a long and tedious trip, and a rotten result. And still she was smiling! “Well, at least I was very busy this afternoon – I think I was called on to the pitch six times! It was quite a stressful day, I guess, but it’s good to be cheerful.”
The ruthless Anderson interviewing technique summons up its courage and asks Isabel how old she is. The answer – 27! And how about family? The answer comes back with an even broader smile. “I got married three months ago, to my lovely man Ruben! We came to England together but Ruben has spent some time in Leeds.” Hmm, thinks Kev, you come from gorgeous sun-baked Portugal, you choose our lovely Eastbourne as your base – you are spoiled for choice of England’s historic cities to visit, York, Oxford, Bath, Stratford – and you choose Leeds? “Ha, he was studying there, on a filmmaking course! But I think Eastbourne is prettier! I really love England, although I don’t so much enjoy London – it’s too big and noisy. What’s different from home? The food – but I can always cook Portuguese at home. And to be honest, I expected English weather to be much worse, so I am quite happy here.” And we’re happy to have you on the team, Isabel. I’m no sexist but you’re better looking than Tuppers…
…AND HELLO HENDO !
This is a bit silly, since he’s been playing in a Borough shirt since the first July friendly at Tunbridge Wells, but I never got around to scribbling a biography of either of our new young full-backs. I caught up with Will during his injury absence last month, and I promise to intercept Leon soon as well. Suffice to say of Hendo, signed by Jamie from Worthing, that he is no stranger to this side of the county. “I live in Hove, was at school at Hove Park, and I was at Brighton and Hove Albion – but at 16 I had a spell at the Saffrons! Danny Bloor was Town manager at that point and he taught me all he knows! (Not there long then Will ? - LoL - Ed.) I spent my two Academy years with Lewes FC.”
“I’d been at Worthing a long while, and this is definitely a step up now with Borough – the highest level I’ve played at. Every week is a test, because although of course I’m now with better players, I’m also against better standard of opponents week by week. Being a full-back is like having your own personal battle with the winger, and I love that. I will always try to impose my game too, and get forward, and fortunately the Gaffer encourages me to do that. My injury came at an annoying time because I feel I was just adjusting and getting the pace of National South – but the home crowd have been really encouraging and they seem to like the way I play, so I will be trying to live up to that!”
Best moment in football? “Probably scoring the equaliser for Worthing at Dagenham last year, in the Trophy – a big surprise result and a brilliant feeling. The Senior Cup Final (against Borough) at the Amex is right up there too – I believe Pinns and I were neck and neck for MoM – at least until he very unfortunately got sent off a minute from time!” Oops, sorry Nat – we weren’t going to mention that…. Footballing ambition, Will? “Just to keep progressing here with Borough really. We’ve already shown some potential and I’m keen to see just how far we can go!”
THE GREAT AND THE GOOD
Now, we all know nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. And half the fun of following your football club is the reminiscing – the great games, the awful games, the crazy away-days, the characters. Borough Facebookers regularly tackle that perennial question: greatest Sports line-up ever? Actually, it’s fun because there is no definitive answer. Different eras, playing conditions. But last week someone, it might have been Crabby, rattled off a list of that golden generation of players of the mid-Noughties under Garry Wilson – and phew! Just from memory, it included Hook, Pullan, Ramsay, Atkin, Harding, Budd, Crabb, Baker, Austin, Smart and a string of others. Mostly locally-based, which I think was Crabby’s point (needless to say, Jenks got in on the act and claimed to be a Man of Sussex too, even though we all know he’s Sarf London, mate.)
Matt was giving evidence that the Howell Vision of a team of Sussex’s finest, welded together here at the Lane, really can be a reality. But what struck me also was that most of those names were seriously long stayers at the Lane. And that builds understanding, team ethic, fierce loyalty – and success. Crabby, Bakes and Ben were astonishingly long – and fine – servants to this club. It’s no accident that you often see at least two of the 'Three Wise Men' at the Lane on a match day. It gets in your blood, this club….
BEAM ME BACK DOWN, SCOTTY
Climbing in your car after the match? Then listen out for this evening’s Sussex Senior Cup draw – it is scheduled for broadcast exclusively on BBC Sussex at around 5.50pm, hosted by some BBC reporter guy who sounds a little like me. It’s quite a puzzle because I swear there was one Senior Cup draw, live from Lancing, while I was on the team coach somewhere round the M25. And another one a couple of seasons back, when I’d just done a final-whistle report from Priory Lane and they instantly switched to this impersonator chap from Lancing. Baffling. Must be one of those mistaken-identity confusions – after all, at the Eastbourne Tennis Week there were plenty of people who thought I was a 6’9” South African…
Anyway, the magic of radio will bring you the full details. The second round is more fun because it includes your Albion, your Borough, your Crawley Town and the other higher-ranked clubs who had a bye in the first round. Who would bet against two of the big boys being paired together? Sadly our tenants Langney Wanderers bowed out in extra time to Selsey, but Town and United are still in the mix. Go on - tune in on your way home!
Enjoy today’s game, everyone!
Updated 08:22 - 12 Oct 2017 by Lee Peskett