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Oct 31, 2003
I know this is supposed to be a light-hearted column so I’ll get Saturday’s defeat against Morecombe out of the way first.

What can I say, we’re all gutted with the result and the way we lost the three goals in a game where we once again had most of the play. When we equalised at the start of the second half, there looked like there was only going to be one winner but Morecombe caught us on the counter-attack and unfortunately we couldn’t respond like we did after their first two goals.

The last couple of results have been really disappointing but already this week we’ve been trying to make amends. The gaffer had us all in on the Sunday so we could start to prepare for the next two games coming up. It’s going to be a tough week training wise but the boys are desperate to get back winning games and are ready to put in the work needed on the training ground. It would have been good to have had a Tuesday game this week so that we could get the defeat out of the system right away but we’ve got some games coming up which, tough as they will be, are a great chance to get back on track.

It’s been a frustrating time for me personally after picking up an injury at the end of the Northampton game but after some intensive treatment from the physio Ben, hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m back training again. I’m even more desperate to return since our fitness coach, Lawrence, has been taking great pleasure in beasting the injured lads in the gym every day. He gave me and Mark Philips a session he called the Gladiator circuit to do the other day. At the end of it Mark and I could hardly lift our knives and forks to our mouths to eat our lunch, never mind a sword and shield!

Being injured means I’ve been spending a lot of time with two of the French lads Sofi and Bilel. My French is definitely improving although I can’t say the same for Bill’s English as my Scottish accent still completely throws him.

He’s a great lad who is still learning the game and even though he’s been excellent at times he‘s been frustrated with himself recently and is desperate to improve. His enthusiasm is infectious, and I must admit he’s kept me going this week as I’ve not been in the best of moods being injured. He’s also very accident prone and he’s had a couple of incidents getting used to driving on the other side of the road, one involving a bollard and another with a bus so when the three of us were told to go to the pool to do some work I thought it would be safer if I drove. When we were leaving I forgot I had to buzz reception for the code to lift the barrier and I’d driven too far past the intercom so Bill, sitting in the back said not too worry as he would do it. Instead of just winding down the window he flung open the door and whacked it off the metal post!

Bill and I have been swimming quite a lot and Ben always gives us different sessions to do. Enjoyable though they are, we thought we’d switch it up the other day and decided to join in with the Aqua Aerobics class after we had finished our fitness work. Bill had everyone in the class smiling even though he looked a bit mental after sporting a black eye and stitches from the weekend. One woman did move further away from us but I'm not sure whether that was because she thought he was going to kick her while doing some of the more lively exercises or because I was wearing Speedos! I’ll tell you, it’s a lot tougher than it looks and we didn’t even do the full class. I didn’t think I’d ever say this but I have a newfound respect for Aqua Aerobics.

At the club BBQ last week Gary Lockett, MD at InsureandGo, challenged Blair and Gilly to a game of golf with him and one of his friends at Thorpe Bay. He took great delight in texting me the following day with the news that they had well and truly given them a lesson. To be fair to Blair and Gilly, when I tried to give them a bit of stick about it they admitted they got a doing but did say they’re looking for a rematch and at least they’ll know the course a bit better next time.

While showing my best mate and his girlfriend some of the sights of Southend this weekend, I had a golfing disaster of my own. We went for a game of crazy putting at Adventure Island and I can only describe me and my mate’s performances as pathetic, being soundly beaten by both girls. My wife, Laura came out on top taking only forty shots to complete both the Inca and the Aztec courses, surely setting some sort of record in the process. At least that’s what I’m telling myself to make me feel better about getting absolutely hammered!

Fingers crossed for three points on Saturday,


If you would like to ask Craig a question then email us at media@southend-united.co.uk and a selection will be chosen for the next edition of East On.