Latest from the Lane: Senior Cup hots up while Eastbourne Borough youth top the charts
The Sussex Senior Cup is gathering pace, and the Sports travel to Lancing FC on Tuesday December 4, where Horsham FC play their home games. Travelling supporters should note that kick-off is at 7.15pm because of floodlight restrictions. Meanwhile Town have a tempting home tie against Adam Hinshelwood's Worthing, who are really motoring this season '“ but John Lambert has got his Town side back to form, and they are capable of a Saffrons upset.
I popped over to the Dripping Pan on Wednesday night for an absorbing tie between Lewes and Albion’s Under-23s. The balance of the game kept shifting, and Rooks could very well have won it in a dominant second half, but Albion cruelly grabbed the only goal in the 91st minute! Nothing at all against the BHA young professionals, but rather a pity for the competition as a whole, perhaps. Albion now go to Hastings United.
Remarkable news from Youth Development manager Terry Avann this week, that Borough teams in Under-18, Under 16, Under-15 and Under-14 age groups ALL top their respective divisions. Last Saturday morning there were over 250 boys and girls at Priory Lane engaged in coaching and matches – expertly coached. In a week when the club is up for the national FSF Community Club award, it underlines how the Sports are the pulse of our local community – together, of course, with very many other organisations and sports clubs in our town.
And on the awards topic, I’ve had a lovely piece from Tim Brown, who does so much in the Youth Section and especially with the brilliant Frame Football initiative. He is looking to expand it, and in the process is mulling over a new label for the squad. “Disability” is quite a misnomer anyway – it is only an umbrella term, and it rather talks down the players and athletes who simply have different abilities and different constraints on their activity. Tim Brown is wondering about a new name of “Spirit of Football Squad.” We love that, Tim.
Great to see several of the youngsters beginning to make their mark on the edge of the first team. Andrew Briggs, Dan Blackmore, Brad Santos, James Earl, Gregor Shaw among others. Lots of promising ability – and thoroughly nice lads too. We drove back from a recent away game with Dan Blackmore, a young man with a very full life, including his football with Borough, his college team and the Sussex Under-18s – and a whole lot more besides. “In the summer I went with Willingdon School to Uganda, where we spent a fortnight in a rural village, helping to build them a new house and living eating sleeping with them, including coaching football with the kids. I took some footballs and some Borough shirts out and they were ecstatic. They just have virtually nothing out there, and I have so much. It totally opened my eyes.”
Belated wishes to our fine young right-back Tobi who turned 22 last weekend. Tobi was supposed to bring cake for his team-mates, but he actually climbed aboard the coach to Bath with the largest and gaudiest gingerbread man that Sainsburys could sell. Crumbs. It was actually an interesting and sometimes animated ride down the M4, with lively discussions ranging through God, Einstein, Global Warming and Brexit. Intellectual lot, these footballers. They just can’t defend corners… Ooch.