The Winds Of Change Run Through Canvey Island
As a football fan, the summer is normally the worst time for every one of us. It’s the empty space where nothing really happens until July kicks in and transfers start to get agreed and signed. But to be honest, even in the top flight with transfers it can be very quiet. Non-league though, that’s a different story. Now I’ve been getting back into non league football over the past few years, and this summer is the first where I’ve really been a part of what is happening and seen some of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes. It’s been a hell of a lot livelier than any off-season I’ve seen as a West Ham fan (well maybe except for when we signed Tevez & Mascherano).
First off, there was the great news that as a team Concord had secured the services for the coming season of players like Tony Stokes, Harry Elmes, Reece Harris, Arthur Lee and Kurt Robinson. Kenny Brown, a former West Ham player, had also joined the club as an assistant manager to Danny Cowley, after Danny Scopes had decided to knock it on the head. Scopesy will still be around the club though, which is great as he’s been a big part of what made the place so welcoming to people, myself included! Two new signings were also announced, with Guyana international Chris Bourne and experienced goalkeeper Michael Jordan (no, not the basketball legend) coming on board. James White, a solid midfielder from Thurrock FC, was also brought into the team.
One eye is always kept on the noisy neighbours down the road at Canvey Island FC, and this month has been no different. The first bit of noise from them this summer was the news that former Concord right back Ashley Miller had signed for them. Obviously this was a surprise to me and a few within the CRFC team. But to be honest, fair play to him, he’s a quality player and I wish him all the best for the future, whoever he ends up playing for when the season starts. Canvey also “signed” Adam Wickenden, Concord’s physio from last season. Anyway, other news down the road at the club de la King was that signings were being made over the managers head, so Glen Alzapiedi decided enough was enough, leaving his position as CIFC manager. Add to that the news that 4 players have all decided to leave as well, those being Jason Hallett, John Easterford, Steve Sheehan and Alex Rhodes.
Now I wrote that last paragraph about Canvey for a good reason! Kenny Brown didn’t stay at Concord for long, as he’s now gone on to Barnet to be their assistant manager. Best of luck to him as well! That left a hole to fill, and although Nicky Cowley has been promoted to player/coach, Concord needed an assistant gaffer. A 4 hour meeting took place this past weekend, and out of that came the appointment of Glen Alzapiedi to the position of Concord Rangers assistant manager! I think that’s a great bit of business from the club, and I am sure that Glen will add a different but positive dimension to the management team at Concord.
As for the players that left Canvey, John Easterford is one that previously played for Concord Rangers, leaving in 2010 to go across the Island. Well I for one am happy to say that he has seen the light and made the short trip back across to the Aspect Arena to play for Concord once again. A starting CB for Canvey, he’ll be sorely missed by them and greatly appreciated by us! Welcome home John! It wouldn’t surprise me if more make the move across either, given the perception of the state of affairs over at Canvey, I don’t hold high hopes for them! Given the calibre of the players leaving, can anyone say sinking ship?
Preseason training is already underway, and before the season starts in earnest I can see a lot more twists and turns coming for the teams on the island. The fixtures will now be out on the 18th July, and I know my first looks will be towards the first & last games, and of course the derby games against Canvey! Non league football is a fantastic thing to be involved in, even just as a fan; I would not change a single part of it! You Are My Concord!
This article has been reproduced with the full permission of the author, Alan Jessup-Peacock, who originally published it on his excellent blog. You can find the original article here. You can also follow Alan on twitter by clicking this link