This Interview is from April 2012
How many seasons have you played for BAA?
The way my body feels about 50 years!!! Lol from late 90’s (stopped playing for about 5 seasons in mid 2000’s because of Family Issues) to finishing and retiring this year (2012).
How did you come about joining the club?
Richard Hunt (Lee’s brother) invited me down.
What has been your most memorable moment with the club?
Winning back to back titles and the Datchet tournament. This current B.A.A team is the best I have played with and undoubtedly gave me the chance to win something in my last (comeback) 3 seasons. Thanks to all the lads for that!!!!!
What has been your lowest point with the club?
Losing in the final against Mercury over at Hillingdon.3-2
What has been your best performance for BAA in your opinion?
The 1st game against Load of Hay. We were all well up for that and the final game of the season against the Old George. Massive game with a lot riding on it.Chrissy G and myself kept their number 9 quiet all match and apparently their no 9 said to Chrissy G...Thank F*** He’s Gone Off. I Haven’t Had A Kick!!! When I went off with about 15 mins to go as I am an old boy and knackered!!! lol
Were there any players who stood out for you during that time (good or bad) and for what reasons?
Like I said before, the current team is so good and will improve as lots of the players are young lads who are getting better with every season. I don’t like singling out players good or bad as it is a TEAM GAME!!!!!!! lol
Pick your all time starting eleven and up to five subs, state your reasons for their selection.
1) Jason Ravenhill. Superb reflexes. Must have been awesome when he was slimmer and younger!!! Lol
2) Lee Hunt. Been there with me throughout the years and has been Mr.Consistent. DEPENDABLE (unless Hung Over)!!!
3) Jamie Bakas. Small, quick and strong for size. Can get caught wrong side of the player sometimes which he knows and will no doubt rectify in the coming season!!
4) Dave McPhail. Really Gutsy, quick and had his fare share of broken bones!!!
5) Chris Geal. Mr Angry. Really good athlete, times his tackle to perfection and works hard (sometimes too hard when I am playing) very hard to beat him and good Captain.
6) Grant Ball. The best player I think I have played with. This guy was about 5ft 5ins but had everything. Lightning quick, great in the air and tricky as hell. Scored lots of goals too. I see a lot of this guy in our young Luke.
7) Josh Neary. Superb skills and technique. Awesome when fired up and keeps his game simple! Will only get better!
8) Gary Beckey. Very strong and committed and has a great engine. Not as quick as he used to be hence moving from winger to midfield general!!!! But a lot quicker than I ever was!! Lol.
9) Ali Esmail. Or Ali Barnes as he was affectionately known because of his dribbling skills. Sometime’s took on one too many players and would get chopped down. He had to have 2 key hole operations on both knees. He does Salsa now so must still be ok but got lots of goals for B.A.A over the years. He didn’t like to help his defenders much especially a certain left back!!!
10) Lloyd Vaughan. Excellent all round player who has won the last couple of player of the year awards. You don’t get them if you are rubbish! Very quick, strong and scores bucket loads of goals. Will only get better with age.
11) Luke Hurley. Amazing attitude. Got rockets for feet and is superb in the air. Scores loads of goals too. He has become such a good player in his short time with the club and he is still so young!!! Frightening how good he can become.
Subs:12) Goalkeeper. Mark (Schmeichel) Fellows. The original Mr Angry and about 7ft tall!!! The rest of the team had to wear sound reducing ear protectors with this guy. Struck fear into the oppositions eyes...and ours!!!lol.
13) Richard Hunt. Had a bit more pace than his brother and a good goal scoring ratio. Had a tendency to score wonder goals!!!
14) Tom Cornwall. Superb technique and has a keen eye for goal. Sometimes needs to be more aggressive in his play. I thought last season in particular was his best season. He was more involved in the matches we played. Will improve even more and will be an important player for years to come.
15) Matt Allen. Central Defender going on Striker. Another Mr Angry but was a winner. Similar to Chrissy G in lots of ways only Matty had more HAIR!!!! Not hard. So did Kojak. Sorry G
16) Vish Varma. Scored loads of goals even though he would be caught offside 50 times a game!!! Good work rate and passion. Needs that because he is a Villa Fan!!!
During your time with the club what awards/trophies have you won and do you have one that means more than any of the others?
Runners up medal for the 3-2 Div 5 Cup loss against Mercury. A couple of Clubman of the year awards,2 Title Winner’s medals Div 5 & 2, Datchet Tournament Trophy, a couple of B.A.A 5 a-side runners up medals and a lovely retirement trophy thanking me for my years of service with the club I LOVE!!!!!
Is there any team you liked or disliked playing against?
I liked playing Cowley F.C over at the R.A.F place because we beat them 8-0 or 8-1. Pitch was awesome. Like the Emirates!!!! There is one Team that I would like to mention from a friendly we had a few years back, but I won’t because this is a B.A.A Website. I had a bit of a melt down and had a row with some of the opposition and the manager through their lack of respect for us. Gary Beckey Remembers!!! One piece of advice for this current team...keep your Humility. It’s so important. With skill comes RESPECT!!!!
You scored a few goals for the club, including own goals. What has been your favourite goal scored and best own goal finish?
Can’t remember any brilliant goals had some good near misses, most of the very few goals I have had have been from corners or crosses with my head. I think I have scored better own goals and against the best goalie I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with!!! (That’s a couple of beer’s Jase)!!!! lol
Any funny incidents you have seen on a pitch that you can recall?
Ali Esmail running onto the pitch with his son’s plastic water pistol when a scuffle between the 2 teams broke out. The Ref put down in his book that one of the B.A.A players had come onto the pitch with a fire arm with intent to use it. Well he would have got a good soaking that’s all. B.A.A had to change its name to B.A.A HAL so we could play the following season. Lee, Gary and Myself. Shame on us guy’s!!!
What is the best team you have played against? And can you recall how you got on against them?
I don’t really remember any outstanding teams from years ago but I would say the Old George was a very good team and the games are always tight. Iver Heath also are very hard to break down and work well together!!!
Who is the best player you have played with?
Grant Ball. Just Superb
What is the best goal you have seen in a game, for or against BAA?
this was not answered.
What is the best save you have seen in a game, for or against BAA?
Seen a few from our current keeper Mr Ravenhill in matches plus one from a possible own goal from a sliced deflection off my foot which was going top right corner only for Jase the Ace to pull off a world class save!!! You must remember that one!!! .Jason’s 4 (I think) penalty saves recently only for us to Lose the game. Still scratch my head with that one. Mark fellows did lots of great saves and I remember a penalty save he did at Printing House Lane where he got down to his right nearly breaking his fingers on the foot of the post tipping the ball around for such a big bloke I don’t know how he got down so quickly!!!
(it was 5 penalty saves)
Which player(s) have you seen improve the most at the club?
Luke Hurley and Tom Cornwall
You will have played in a few different leagues for BAA, is there one you prefer over the others and why?
Thames Valley. The Hayes and district had some nasty teams over the years. The Shirehorse from the early 90’s were a right nasty bunch. Always kicking off. Supporters as well!!!
What were your favourite and least favourite grounds you played at with BAA Heathrow?
The best was Cowley F.C’s R.A.F Uxbridge ground. Worst was Stockley Park and The Esso Club in Stanwell. Had long grass that grew up but went back into the ground allowing you to trip up. God knows how or why the grass grew that way. Must have been the petrol Fumes or something!
What is the difference between the BAA Heathrow you joined and the BAA team now?
The quantity of really good players (skilful players) all together at the club at the same time with all ages, but predominantly a young team. Youth experience and quality and getting better with every coming season. Hope the boys stay together and go on to winning a lot more trophies!!!
How do you think the club is run as a whole and how do you think it should maybe be changed?
I think Gary Beckey has done a fantastic job since being in charge. (2 league titles and a Datchet Tournament trophy in his first 2 seasons isn’t bad is it?) Just a shame some other people don’t appreciate all of what he does because it is a thankless task sometimes and would be a whole lot easier for him if everyone was to pull in the same direction! Keep up the great work Gazza!
Do you have any pre match superstitions?
Have a download before hand to make me feel a little lighter!!! lol
You will have played under a couple of different managers at BAA, how were they different?
I think that every great manager needs a great team around him. Past managers did not have the quality which maybe Gary has now. Alan did have a lot of the current squad but Gary has moved it onto another level with his formations, desire and ambition!!! Results show that!
A few years ago now the club had its own ground and club house at print house lane, it’s a shame the club still doesn’t have this, what are your memories of the old ground and club house?
Tripping over and banging my head a lot. Hic! Hic! That was before a game! Lol lovely ground with excellent facilities. Hopefully the new Orchard ground will be like Printing House Lane was! Only better!
At the beginning of the 2010-11 season you were set to be part of the management team with Gary Beckey to run the team. But after some player issues in a pre season friendly against the clubs reserves team you stepped down. Tell us about that and why you chose to move aside?
Nobody listened to me unlike young Bex and I don’t like upsetting any of my mates coz these boy’s at football are my only mates now. I am married you know! Lol too much bickering and players moaning because they might be a sub. If you could play all 18 or so players I would have done but you can’t and somebody is going to be disappointed with your decisions! Besides it ages you...look at poor old Gazza Beckey!!! lol
The team you played for recently (3rds 2009-11 Reserves 2011-12) has been a really close team. You could perhaps say it was like a ‘family’, would you agree?
The Team spirit is definitely there. I would say more encouragement is needed within the team to make the team stronger which they will need this coming season as they are in the top division now. The team did have a few moments last season when players started to lose their heads and started to argue with each other. I think because we were successful in the previous season winning Div 5 and not losing or drawing a game, we thought we were world beaters and got a bit of an attitude which sometimes was not the right kind of attitude if you know what I mean! Humility and Respect like I said earlier is important for us!
During the season there had been some issues with players paying and a fall out with the manager and some players and a difference of opinion followed. The player was not happy about being put a sub and threatened to leave; the manager said he could not allow a player to ‘play for free’ when others pay. At the time you was quite opinionated on the matter. Tell us more about the whole situation and your views on it.
I know what you are referring to and felt a little aggrieved by the whole episode. Gary showed me some texts he received from one of our players (no names and faces as it’s water under the bridge now, HOPEFULLY) to me which showed a massive lack of respect towards him as a manager and person. Some of the other players had seen these messages and were not too impressed and thought that the individual was out of order. But come Sunday they soon forgot and were high fiving and knuckle banging which I thought was a bit 2 faced and I said my piece. I am old school (Very old school, I know). I did get a bit of a moan from Chrissy G for the timing of my angry outburst but was sorted out during the start of the match because I do like the player in question even though he needs to look at the way he sees things sometimes!
In the last 3 seasons you have been part of a defence which proved to be tighter then blazing squad in the pub. The team conceded an average of less than a goal a game over three seasons. With just you, Jason, Simon, Jamie, Chris, Lee and Dan Jones being a big part of that and also Lamps and Chris Magro played. What made that defence so good and mean?
A solid keeper is a great start giving the guy’s in front the confidence they need to perform well during the game. You were that rock Jase and the team will vouch for that! Chris is like a rock in front of you and whoever partners him has a lot easier job because of a his pace, strength and timing of tackles etc etc.This all adds up to confidence. No Jason or Chris takes a lot of confidence away not only the defence but the team as a whole..Put into the mix Lee Hunts never say die attitude and stamina, Jamie’s speed and effort, Dan Jones’s steely determination and heart which would be even more if he felt more confident sometimes and that is only because if he does anything wrong there will be groans from other players which he will take to heart and beat himself up over and I know how he feels because I am a bit like Dan with confidence issues I’m not too scared admit!!! And last but not least...Super Si. Fills in more holes than Ron Jeremy!!!! One minute in goal then the next out on pitch, then the next as a helicopt..........sorry not that last bit!!! Lol It must be very hard going in goal some weeks then coming out on field to do a job which maybe Simon does not get the respect he deserves. It is after all a team game and Simon is your classic team player. In all senses of the word!
Now that you have retired will you be washing or throwing away the world’s smelliest shin pads?
No They are going on E-Bay. Or a tenner to you me old butt nugget!!! P.s you should smell my pants!
League champion 2011, league champion 2012. Come on then, which one means more?
The first one because the League trophy was there and the match. It all came down to that game. The league messed up this year’s celebrations by not having the trophy at the last game. SHAME ON YOU TVSFL!!!! Last season’s Div 2 should have been a better celebration but wasn’t. Shame really but there you go! The champagne did taste like BRUT Gazza!!! lol
How did it feel that your last game you were the captain that led the team to title success??
Awesome. Thanks Chrissy G! I was Captain for a couple of seasons a long time ago but never had the success that I have had with this current bunch of players so I just want to say a big thank you to all you guy’s who have enabled me to hang up my boots a much happier man!!!
What will you do on your Sundays now? Will you look to have an active role within the club and would you ever consider playing in an emergency if asked?
Always willing to try for the MIGHTY B.A.A!!!! Love you guys!
Would you consider moving into management or has the previous experience put you off?
Well Off!!!! Thank you very much and I want to have more hair than Gazza Bex!!!
Let’s go back to the 2009-10 season, BAA won their first 9 games in the league but ended the season with nothing even though they beat the league champions twice. What happened?
Bit of Implosion I think. The League is like a marathon. You have to gain momentum and when you get it going you have to do everything to keep it going and that is to find a togetherness which I think was sadly missing towards the end when the games were getting more intense and you getting injured in was it the last game against Manor didn’t help much either. I would have played on with broken fingers you know!!!! lol
I’ve been asked if you recall playing with a goalkeeper called Alan in the late 90’s after he was dropped from the 3rds?
I Remember Alan. Smashing Bloke!!! ;)