Today a relationship is beginning; tomorrow one will end. It has been on the rocks before, almost crashed a year ago but now they’re about to go their separate ways.
The royal honeymoon may just be starting in Garry Wilson’s homeland of Scotland but Eastbourne Borough’s ends on Saturday as they split with the Blue Square Bet Premier (for a year at least).
The Sports, already relegated, visit Altrincham, who are fighting for their lives.
You won’t find the Queen or David Cameron on the guest list for this clash, just dozens of Borough fans out to get a taste of the club’s last game of a topsy-turvy year.
Boss Wilson has just about seen enough of this campaign. He admits the last few months have been tough.
He said, “It has been a long old slog, it has been a little bit easier knowing that we were relegated with the pressure off, as we’ve seen on Monday (2-0 victory over Bath).”
He continued, “I don’t want to send anyone down but we want to finish the season strongly. It is always nice to finish well.”
Opponents Altrincham are in a similar position to that which Wilson’s men found themselves in this time last year.
They must win, hope that Southport lose and that the crunch clash between Tamworth and Forest Green produces a winner.
For their part Borough are guaranteed to end up in 23rd and while relegation did come as a bitter blow, the players and management won’t miss the travelling which comes with non-league’s top tier.
They have already clocked up more than 8,800 miles on the road, and that’s not including trips to Guiseley and Dorchester in the FA Trophy or November’s aborted first visit to Southport.
By the time they arrive back in Sussex late on Saturday night their total league mileage will be the same as a drive from Priory Lane to Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Wilson added, “It has been difficult getting time off work for everybody, it is good sometimes away in the hotel doing a bit of team bonding there but there are so many long journeys and it has been a bit much.”
While it is the Sports’ last hurrah in the division it could also be the last time fans see a number of the players in the Borough red.
The contracts of many players run out in the summer and there remains a question mark over the futures of some of the elder statesmen of the squad, including Darren Baker, veteran of more than 900 matches.
But the manager admits he has already earmarked the men he would like to retain.
“I think if we have lingering doubts it is the final time look,” he said. But we know who we want to keep. We just need to finish the season off, then it’s talking to the players and seeing what they want.”
Baker should return to the fold after suspension, while Simon Weatherstone is a doubt and Matt Langston and Ross Treleaven remain long-term absentees.