Some suggested my comments were a disgrace...allow me to clarify

Ben Austin Eastbourne Borough F.C. August 1st 2011
Ben Austin Eastbourne Borough F.C. August 1st 2011

Let me start by saying I’m genuinely surprised by the reaction last week’s column caused.

While I don’t really wish to labour the point any further, I feel it necessary to clarify my comments.

The majority of the ill-feeling towards myself and those comments seems to surround the issue of all supporters being ‘tarred with the same brush’ and I criticised ‘all’ supporters for hurling abuse at players.

In my defence, I would like to refer you back to the last paragraph of THAT column. I hope it clarifies the issue.

‘’Otherwise, as the majority of supporters do, continue to pay your money and support the management and the team with words of encouragement and a bit of noise, because I gaurantee that type of support is truely valued and as such the players will continue to work hard to repay your faith’’

I was in no way inferring that all supporters do nothing but hurl abuse, as I and the other players know this is not the case.

However there is a percentage that do and most true supporters will have heard it for themselves. It was these so-called supporters I was addressing and these only.

I apologise if my comments were misinterpreted but I will not apologise for what I said.

I have no issue with supporters criticising tactics, style of play or performances, you pay hard earned money for the right to do that.

But, spiteful abuse and unecessary insults aimed at individual players which does nothing but destroy confidence, is counter productive and from some in the stands, it’s been happening far too frequently of late.

Some have suggested that my comments were a disgrace and that as the captain of Eastbourne Borough I should think before I ‘open my big mouth’. Again, allow me to clarify.

Believe me when I tell you I thought before I spoke.

Do you really think I would put my neck on the line as well as the good relationship I have developed with supporters over the last decade without giving it serious thought?

The fact is I felt strongly enough to say what I said so maybe ‘the few’ need to ask themselves why.

I would like to think that anyone who has seen me play over the last 12 years will know that I have only ever had the best interests of the club at heart.

I am only interested in winning football matches and never give anything less than 100 per cent in trying to do so.

I take my responsibility as captain seriously and part of that responsibility is to protect and fight for my team mates when they need me to.

On this occasion they needed me to and I’m sorry if that touched a nerve with some people, but I would do it again in a heart beat.

I would very much like to draw a line under this and concentrate on getting back to what’s important, winning football matches.

We are in a mini rut that we need to get out of quickly and we will look to rebuild confidence starting this weekend away at Havant where, as always, we will look to get a positive result.

I genuinely hope that by the time our next home game comes around our fortunes will have turned and the fans will have something to sing about.

If not? Well, I would like to think all of our true supporters will get behind the team anyway, be our 12th man and help us get back on track.