September 2007: Preparing for the Big Kick Off
It has been a very busy pre-season with the squad being stretched and players going through the revolving door. Unfortunetely we have lost some players from the previous season. Darren Bull, after 4 seasons with the club decided to hang up his boots at the end of the season (see interview April 2007). Wale Oshiyemi has also been with the club for 4 seasons and has gone AWOL, reportedly last seen shopping in Lakeside. He has, with Bully played an important role for the club and it was their partnership and understanding up front which led to so many goals in our promotional season a few years back. Diego Silva has also been unable to commit having found a new job at the Home Office, he came into the side and added a bit of flair to the side. We wish the samba man well and will miss his monkey chants whilst calling for the ball.
Meanwhile the trio of Gary Murghy, Rob Hurst and Jono Third wanted a new challenge. Gary and Rob have given many years towards the Esprit cause. Gary was introduced to league football at an early age and came through the youth ranks and played 5 seasons with the club, progressing into a fine player. Rob has had 7 full seasons with Esprit over 2 spells and was part of the original line up when the club was first established back in 1996.. Fringe players Adam Cutler, Simon Davey and Antonn Thurlow have also been released. We wish all these players the best of luck in the future.
With so many players leaving for pastures new, Runo has had to recruit new players. We officially welcome Tony Brown, Jamie Valente, Rob Laird and JJ Hill who all made their debuts at the end of last season. Players who have also impressed during pre-season and on their debuts have been Eric Akurang, Frank Hughes, Waine James and Ilker Ulugun. Our very own Johnny Bubble also made his long awaited debut for the club having missed 12 years of football due to a dodgy alarm clock.
The first couple of friendly games were disasterous with so many players out of shape, but the cross-country runs and consistant training has started to pay off with a couple of decent victories as of late. Hopefully the club will continue to improve as the big kick off is now only around the corner.