“You wanted to see me, Mister Chairman?”
I stepped into Tony Wilkinson’s office with a slight apprehension. It was time for the monthly meet with the main man, and Oli warned me that the Chairman had wind of our current situation with the players’ discontent and how it affected our current performances. The meeting started off well enough, with Wilkinson prefacing the discussion by saying that our league performances and continued hold on the lead was outstanding, as was our cup run so far, and that he was still pleased with me being the team’s skipper. Or “gaffer” as the Brits say. However, we had a long, intense talk about the squad’s harmony and the rift right down the middle of the dressing room.
It’s my fault, to be fair. Following a draw where we scrapped through by the skin of our teeth, I let the team know in no uncertain terms that I felt like my expectations weren’t met, and that they needed to work harder. Looking back now, I still feel like my decision to take the approach was justified, though a section of the team, including vice-captain Drew Shore, disagreed with me, putting the club into what could very well end up a downward spiral as some of the older, established players put into the squad the seeds of doubt about their young skipper’s ability to lead them.”