Filippo uncut

PFFC 1 Sporting Club de Falcon 1

Joe, 11 March 2001


That this pivotal game ever got played was a miracle. The pitch resembled a ploughed field, the weather was vile. Geoff was abroad and our ref never turned up. Fortunately, Falcon had a spare man who agreed to officiate. But this put us on the back foot from the start and if decisions went against us we could have little complaint.

As it was, we were poor and went behind mid-way through the first half. The second half brought little technical improvement but we kept battering away and eventually our persistence paid off with Raj bagging a late equaliser.

Amidst the mediocrity, Jez alone is worthy of praise, putting in what Ian later described as his best game of the season. Particular mention should be made of his corners, the quality of which was sadly not matched by the finishing.

Other honours go to Sola’s friends for their support. But the real drama was to happen after the match with a passionate outburst from Filippo who, to be frank, tore a strip out of the team for the poor performance and a lack of desire. It prompted much soul-searching and the following letter from Filippo:

Dear all, I want to apologise for my moaning-bollocking of yesterday afternoon. I was really disappointed cause I firmly believed that we could win the Grafton Millennium League, and the result of yesterday it was a tremendous blow.

When’s time of expressing feeling my English is not that good as it could seem when chatting, and it get worse after 90 minutes of muddy football.

I can’t blame anyone. I know you have all given 100%. But I felt that we were missing electricity, or rage, or furore, or grit, that ’plus’ that makes you a winner in football.

Perhaps I’m a bit weird, but I really feel bad when my team is not capable of win these games. To my personal opinion, and my personal fitness, the Grafton League is the Premier League. We entered the field with the disgraceful ‘easy-game’ attitude, and, more or less, we wasted the entire first half.

No Geoff, no line-up announcement and comment, no 3 midfielders, no concentration, no team talk, no referee, no subs, a terrible pitch and sharing the dressing room with the opponents. We were playing against too many odds.

I hope we can build something on this incident, as we have done after the ‘Terry’s’ one. Looking forward to a first round in the real FA Cup (one of the reasons why I chose to move to London) may the spirit of Wycombe be with you.