EMIL ANDERSON LOOKS INTO THE LIFE OF NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Making good use of our day off from action

A RARE Saturday off for the #almostfamous black ’n’ white stripes, and manager Steve Pilling showed true Christmas spirit by not putting on a training session.

This was seized upon by cultured centre-half Kieran ‘I never miss a penalty’ Halliwell and he organised a players’ Jolly Boys outing to Blackpool.

A couple of mini buses took the 12 wise men to the Las Vegas of the North, £22 apiece return, bargain. Some didn’t agree, one lad remarked: “We could’ve gone to Newcastle for that.” Anyway we were there, determined to have our team-building afternoon.

The first pub was on the front and was empty. It didn’t have the City against Arsenal game on the gogglebox. We had a couple of pints and went to find the football action.

We got lucky and found a hostelry which not only had the goal fest on, but Strongbow was £1.70 a pint – Nirvana. We watched the end of the game, and then turned our attentions to Jeff Stelling and his gang while a pirate feed of the Blackpool against QPR game played on another screen – we were being spoiled.

There was the usual banter being thrown about, everybody got some stick in turn and the ale kept flowing.

Aaron Cringle was in charge of the NWCFL twitter feed and although admittedly he didn’t have Stelling’s polished delivery we knew what was going on in our league.

Hanley Town slipped up at LR and Formby only drew at our previous week’s conquerors Holker.

Even though we dropped from top to second in the table, we were happy with how the games panned out.

Our own recent displays were also analysed to death but as the grog was kicking in I don’t think anybody will remember what was said.

We then had a short pub crawl and there really didn’t seem many folk about.

I loved Blackpool when I was a kid but can count on the fingers of one hand the numbers of times I have visited since the famous Coronation Street episode featuring Alan Bradley, Rita Fairclough and the tram.

Now I think it needs a bob or two spending on it before it can hope to get back to past glories.

The trip was a success; the camaraderie was excellent and hopefully we can have another at the end of the campaign to celebrate a promotion. I think everybody returned home in one piece, albeit a little worse for wear.

The only known casualty was our cultured centre-half’s beloved £25 Christmas jumper, which was thrown through a bar window.

The question was why he had taken it off in the first place. Oh aye yeah, I remember he was dancing round an exotic dancer’s pole. The mind boggles!

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