A former Fakenham Town manager has defended the club’s players following their no-show against Yarmouth Town on Tuesday night.
Wayne Anderson, who was linked with a managerial return to the Ghosts at the weekend before it was allegedly blocked by the committee, says he feels for Yarmouth and their players after their wasted journey (see back page).
But Anderson, who was controversially sacked before the club’s Norfolk Senior Cup final against King’s Lynn in May, feels the players were left with no alternative following recent events at Clipbush Park, which have spiralled out of control.
Fakenham’s playing squad have been widely criticised in some quarters on social media, but Anderson said: “I have seen that people have questioned their commitment, but over the eight years I was there, every one of them gave 100 per cent total commitment to the football club.
“Yes they probably should have played the game, but they have had enough of everything that has been going on behind the scenes.
“Certainly if the club knew before Tuesday night that they wouldn’t be able to raise a side or that there was going to be an issue, then they should have respected the opposition and called the game off.
“I bleed Fakenham Town Football Club, but the club broke my heart and the current committee don’t want me back, that has been made clear.
“I put everything into that club and then, before the cup final, I was sacked.
“Three weeks before the cup final I was told we could not practice set-pieces on the main pitch and we had to go to Little Snoring to train and practice on a council pitch. Why?
“When we played in the semi-finals we had one lad who came back from St George’s Park to play, another from Nottingham – no one can tell me they weren’t committed.”
Anderson also defended his managerial record at Fakenham during his eight years at the club.
“We escaped relegation twice, gained one promotion and also reached the final of a Norfolk Senior Cup.
“That was enough for me and that should be enough for any football club in the county without a budget.
“I’m proud of what Neil (Jarvis) and myself achieved during our time there.
“We worked hard with the younger players and brought through no fewer than seven players from the under-18s into the senior side.
“The squad we had there was unique in so many ways.
“They would eat, drink and sleep football and didn’t want anything else.
“The club was a huge part of the community but that has been taken away from everyone because the wrong people have come in and taken control of the club.”
Following Tuesday night’s latest events, club captain Matty Gilchrist announced on Twitter that he was quitting the club.