TERRACE TALK with Pete Davies
This is just a quick note to wish you well for the new season.
After the Wycombe and Hull results I don t want to put any pressure on you at all but you could make the difference this year. Everyone is relying on you.
Most people would say the 2001-2 football season began on Saturday, August 11. I disagree. For me it will start on Saturday, September 8, when you've finally served out that rather annoying four-game ban.
Like most other Reds fans, I can't wait to see you in action again. I've not been as excited since I was a little kid waiting for Father Christmas. I don't know how you reflect on last season, but from the terraces I'd say you were a Sensation with a capital 'S' . The goals you scored were outrageously good, your aggression was just what we needed, and your all-round attitude was spot on.
I tell you what I like about you most: your hunger, your selfishness and your lean, mean look. I also enjoy your unique goal-celebration routine. It might be stating the obvious but your arrival at the Racecourse was the highlight of last season, if not the last decade.
I'm a pretty undemonstrative kind of football supporter but when I watch you in a red shirt I become pretty animated. It's anticipation and adrenaline.
You're a very special player and I hope you never, ever leave the Racecourse. That's all I can say.
Sceptics claim you'll never keep your goalscoring exploits going over the course of a full season, that you've got a temperament problem, that you don't bring other players into the game enough, that you can't head the ball.
Like you I guess, I take these criticisms with a pinch of salt. Let's not be picky.You're a superhero in my book and I m not going to quibble if there's the odd imperfection.
I also hear that some of your teammates have christened you Charlie (as in Nicholas ) because you're a centre-forward with a flamboyant dress sense. I think there's one big difference: you're twice the player the Scot ever was.
And just to finish, a few questions if I may: Firstly, who would you say is your ideal strike partner? Obviously you've played a lot with Morrell in the reserves, but do you really think he's up to regular Division Two football? I suppose Faulconbridge complements you well with his solid ability in the air. Is he the man to partner you?
Or is it Sam? You ve not played a lot with him but the Trinidadian has obviously got good pace. What do you think?
Second, where did you learn all those ball tricks? Mickey Thomas recently described you as the most skilful player he's ever seen. That's some plaudit. So, where did you get all those tricks from? And please could you pass on a few ball-juggling tips to some of the other players?
Finally, where did you get that sun-tan from? I know you played for Southport and Rhyl in your non-league days, but I really can't imagine that you got it on Merseyside or the North Wales coast. Do you have a time-share in Minorca? Or a friend in the artificial tanning business? I'd love to know.
Lee - all the best, mate. This season could be your season.
Pete Davies, editor of Red Passion, the Wrexham fanzine, writes for the Mail each week.