Farewell To Oakside

Adam Dennehey writes about a huge change in his personal life, and how it will impact on his passion for football.

A lot can change in football as it can in life. I have been involved with Redbridge and their tenants Barkingside for just over 6 years, enjoying numerous highs and lows throughout that time.

Redbridge of course had that great FA Cup run of last season but have sadly struggled with crowds even when we had former Premiership forward Dean Holdsworth managing us. Even after last season’s heroic effort under Terry Spillane, we only really attracted a few more regulars to the ground.

Sadly there’s been a similar story with Barkingside who despite being in the division below have always seemed to attract more fans and in all honesty have had a better team spirit amongst their squads than the vast amount of Redbridge’s teams. That’s just me being honest there.

For family reasons I have left the Oakside behind me and may not return there for quite some time as my family and I are moving to the exotic and scenic county of Norfolk.

I have got to know a vast amount of both club’s players and managers during that time as well as members of the opposition and have enjoyed chatting weekly in person with our fans around the ground and in amongst Ilford, as I often bumped into them (I don’t stalk!) whilst out shopping or when walking down the high streets.

The Oakside pitch, where Adam has spent many a match

The Oakside pitch, where Adam has spent many a match

I would like to think during my time involved with both clubs that I have worked hard and that my skills as a sports reporter/journalist have come on leaps and bounds. Of course I am not for one second saying that I’m perfect in everyway, because I’m not but I would like to think if an opportunity comes up for me to work full-time at a professional club that I would be able to handle the responsibility and pressure that such a job would require me to undertake.

That’s why I have worked so hard and have put so much effort into my roles with both clubs and why I would like to think my work with Redbridge last season was arguably my best because it meant so much more.

Of course there are times (plenty of them) when I’ve been to games and don’t actually write what’s happened on my note-pad. I have a good memory when it comes to football, so in fact there have been times when I’ve failed to even bring a note-pad at all! I wouldn’t advise this obviously and if I am ever to reach the ‘big-time’ and work full-time in the sports media at a pro-club, obviously I will make sure I jot everything down!

Incredibly during Redbridge’s FA Cup run last season, I didn’t even use a note-pad during our historic match at Oxford City!

I did take one, but didn’t use it as I was too busy watching the game, especially in the second-half when I went and watched the game behind our dug-out, as I was more focused on making sure I was getting some good video-clips and photos on my camera.

Incredibly despite all that and having a few drinks on the way back on the coach, I was still able to put a fairly lengthy report up on our site the next-day along with around 25 minutes worth of audio interviews taken from my Dictaphone, which were edited and uploaded onto the club website at around 9am the next day!

Who was it that said I’m a lazy sod?

Anyway I have enjoyed my 6 and a bit years of involvement with both Oakside clubs and will feel it once I’m in Norfolk, when I realise that I won’t be within 7-8mins walk of a place where I’ve enjoyed some great moments down the years. It’s a place that I feel I’ve grown up, as corny as that may sound!

What will the future hold in store for me?

Who knows perhaps I’ll get involved with a local club near the new town I’ll be living in, although I will be taking a break from football for a wee while as it’s vital that I find work ASAP when I move and really help out my family and put them before my football aspirations.

As for both clubs I wish them the best of success and they will always be in my thoughts.

Hopefully both can attract bigger gates and can do well on and off the pitch with more locals getting to down to watch them.

I would like to thank everyone involved with both clubs down the years highlighting out the efforts made by Adam Silver, Len Cordell, Jimmy Chapman, Jimmy Flanaghan and Rob and Martin Meyers during that time. Farwell and thanks to them all.

PS: For those wanting to know, I have seen 189 Redbridge games and 101 Barkingside matches and will (fingers crossed) pop down to a game at the club next season.

Thanks to Adam for this excellent heartfelt article. Good luck with the move, and here’s hoping you are back writing about football very soon! Follow Adam on twitter: @TheMotorMen (although that might change when he finds a new club to follow!)

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About James Bartaby

Hey, I'm James and I'm relatively new to non-league football, having only taken in my first match in September 2011. Despite it being a 0-4 defeat for Hampton & Richmond Borough, I became a huge fan of the club and NL in general. So much so that they are now the first club that I mention when talking about which team I support! I just got massively disillusioned with top flight football in this country and the attitudes of the lawmakers and top clubs in general, and I wanted to start taking my son to see decent football. I am now the club's Deputy Press Officer, and loving every minute!

Posted on March 16, 2013, in UTL Archive and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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