Aycliffe Today columnist and football writer Paul McGeary insists Newton Aycliffe FC did nothing wrong when they travelled to their FA Vase game in a luxury coach last weekend, despite criticism from some quarters…
I have tried to distance myself from the go-to mecca that is nonleaguezone.com (a message board for non-league football). Don’t get me wrong, I still drop in now and again, but I’m not that taken by the majority of the stuff on there. Nor the people, anymore.
Once upon a time I’d spend ages, looking for stories, rumours, information, banter, whatever it was that drew us all there at any time of day or night, pre, post or even no match. It was a hub of activity and an enjoyable source of many wasted hours.
On Saturday night I dropped in again, just to see the post-mortem of everyone’s once favourite neutral, Newton Aycliffe’s crushing last-16 defeat in the FA Vase.
I mean, surely the threads would be full of commiserations, not only for Aycliffe, but for Sunderland RCA too, as two of our hopefuls of the league once more returning to Wembley in May fell a mere three games from the holy grail?!
How wrong I was!
Newton Aycliffe FC were being put to the sword, not so much for being on the wrong end of a 5-0 thumping in Surrey, but for having the audacity to travel the 600-mile round trip on a luxury coach, provided kindly by two local companies, in return for some column inches.
“Perhaps the professionals should have concentrated more on the match than living luxury on their executive travel…” I paraphrase; but you get the consensus. And to make it worse, this from a poster who himself was part of a North Shields team who travelled to Wembley in similar luxury just seven months ago!
I ask this. What were Peter and the leads to do?! All chip in and pay each other’s petrol and share the driving down on Saturday morning? A quick Burger King at Watford Gap Service Area before a traffic jam on the M25?!
Who says you can’t accept gifts from the Greeks without being labelled ‘big-time Charlies’ just because it’s a last-16 tie you are travelling to, and not the final and final alone?!
Newton Aycliffe has always lived off good PR, thanks to a professional local company who are willing to go the extra mile (not to mention 600 of them) to promote the club in a positive manner. If the natives of nonleaguezone don’t like this, then perhaps they should take a leaf out of my book. And distance themselves from there.
Well done Mantis Media.
*I was diagnosed with Leukaemia in November 2014. Thankfully, I am making a speedy recovery and my condition has been in remission since May 7th, 2015. I have spearheaded a fundraising campaign which has seen almost £20k raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in the past nine months. I’d love to raise more.
You can help me by donating to www.justgiving/Paul-McGeary2