Grassroots Coaching

Football Documentary – Sold for a Fiver Part 2

Part 2 of the Football Documentary set in 1995 following the misfortunes of Leyton Orient.

The second part of five of the football documentary series follows the public announcement that the Chairman of Orient has put the club up for sale for £5!

Morale amongst the players, staff and fans which was already very low, now sinks lower than a snakes belly!

The club are sinking deeper into debt and sliding quickly down the second division league table. Orient play local London rivals Brentford over Christmas. This is the background for what happens next. Orient do not do well in the first half and the atmosphere in the dressing room at half time is fraught with anger and tension. Joint Manager John Sitton takes centre stage in the dressing room and imposes his unique personality and views on the players as individuals and their performances within the team! Absolutely compulsive viewing.

For many, the scenes in the dressing room at half time will be strange and surreal. But, I played over 600 games as a professional and I witnessed and was involved in “emotional” dressing rooms such as this. They weren’t exactly the norm, but they did happen and unlike the Orient dressing room at half time, punches were known to be thrown amongst players and even on the odd occasion between the coaching staff and players.

On one unforgettable occasion, whilst playing for Gillingham in a Boxing Day local derby against Maidstone, the then Manager, the mercurial Damien Richardson, who was known to have the odd dressing room tantrum, completely lost it. In his anger and to make a particularly relevant point, he kicked a central pillar in the dressing room. Unfortunately for him, the pillar was made of plaster board, his foot went straight through it and as he pulled out his foot, he lost his shoe. Unperturbed, he carried on with a foul mouthed, dressing room rant hopping around the room with one shoe on and one shoe off! Much to the amusement of the players who were desperately trying to stifle our giggles!

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