The NCFCOSA Fan Forum and Grand Disco took place yesterday inside the Meadow Lane Sports Bar. Fans arrived for 7pm and our Vice Chair Steve Sheppard, started the event by opening up and greeting all who was in attendance.
Just inside the MLSB door, committee members John and Philip were obtaining tickets and selling raffle tickets. Membership Secretary Lois and Barbara also on a table nearby was giving out membership forms, speaking to members and fans ahead of the event whilst also selling raffle tickets, along with committee member Sallie who went around the forum selling tickets to raise funds for the OSA/Academy. Each committee member actively took part performing various roles, including Secretary Patricia, Treasurer David and the NCFCOSA Head of Media.
Les Bradd honorary member of the OSA and Club Ambassador hosted the forum, he introduced each guest and spoke about their careers in football and the history within the club. Special guests included the likes of Paul Hart, Dean Yates, Greg Abbott and Mike Edwards.
Paul Hart spoke about his time playing at Notts County “Well, I made a decision to leave. I broke my leg, I had a double compound fracture so it was a tough one to come back from. I had the offer to come here as a player coach and I sort of felt that I ought to start thinking that way. So I took up the offer, I’m very grateful for that and I think I played about 26 games that season but it wasn’t the same. I still had a plate in my leg and it was niggling at me, I thought I would of still played until 39 if I hadn’t broken my leg. It was a huge disappointment to have to finish but I enjoyed my time at Notts County, it was my first chance to coach and I really enjoyed it.”
The forum then moved onto Dean Yates who spoke about how he came into the squad as a young player, “Richie Barker gave me my debut in 85, Wimbledon at home on a Sunday afternoon it was. We got beat 3-2 in the end and I think Richie had one more game after that, then it was the return of Jimmy Sirrel to come back as manager, I just came in as a youngster.”
He then spoke about his experience as a 17 year old player, playing alongside Paul Hart, Steve Simms, Dave Watson. “As a 17 year old trying to learn the game, it was really important to have someone with a wealth of experience alongside me and I had a good grounding.”
It was then current coach and player Mike Edwards to take the stage, Les introduced him and highlighted his goal against Sheffield United last Friday evening.
Mike spoke about his time at Carlisle, his injury and how he made his move back to the Football Club.
“I struggled the last sixteen months with an injury” he said, “It was one of them at the time I thought this could be it, most people will know with the physio being up in Carlisle and obviously John Russell here, Greg Abbott and the Gaffer. I mean, I remember October time I had a bit of a bad car crash and the club here looked after to be fair”.
Before adding “I spoke to Greg about coming here asking him I could train, I’ve been trying to get into the fitness side of things with a degree and things like that. It snowballed from there really, football is a small world and if you get a chance like this you should take it.”
After a brief pause for drinks and the raffle draw, Paul Hart brought up several Academy players to the front of the stage and spoke about how important it is in his opinion to offer the best for youngsters who are developing into good players and how the support from the NCFCOSA is vastly important to raise funds for the Academy.
“Since I came in, only a short while ago and I don’t know how long I am going to stay but we have changed things. In the coaching, these boys if they’re up to scratch will get the challenge to move on. We’re here to create young players for Notts County Football Club, to get them into the first team and to do that they have to acquire certain skills”.
He then added “It’s a huge challenge to give them things, I am talking financially the base units to enable them to develop. I know it sounds silly but, good football, nets on the goals, facilities to train, transport facilities”.
Paul mentioned he knows that people are here to support the Academy, he ended by saying “Thank you very much for your support, especially the Supporters Association.”
The night was full of insight and light hearted humour, including a Q/A with the panel and the event highlighted each guests careers. Les Bradd did a fantastic job of hosting, his support really helped us progress further.
We would like to thank all the guest talkers, Les Bradd and all for coming. The NCFCOSA hope you enjoyed the night and we look forward to hosting further nights and events.