To say I was a bit surprised at playing in the Reserve game against Crawley last week is a bit of an understatement. We report in for training at 8.45am every day, and we came in no different on Thursday.
On the day of a Reserve game we are usually told to all come in wearing our Club tracksuit just in case any of us are needed for the game. For us first years this usually means just wearing the tracksuit for the sake of it as we don’t really expect to play.
When we got in to training there was some confusion as to what was going on as we had all heard a few different things. We were eventually told that we would all be travelling to the game, and that the boys not in the squad for the game would do a short session on the pitch beforehand.
I fully expected to be part of that group, so when I heard my name read out in the starting line up I was surprised.
Reserve Match: Crystal Palace v Crawley Town
I felt a bit nervous beforehand as I do before every game, but these nerves were split between my performance and my fitness. I didn’t play in the Villa game on the Sunday as there were still a few concerns about my hamstring, and I didn’t expect to be involved until the next youth team game against Coventry. I gave it a good warm up though and it was fine.
I wanted to put in a performance but the main aim for me was to get another game in before the season finished. I can remember looking at the clock after 75 minutes, and then 85 thinking ‘your nearly there’. It was a very hot day as well, so the calves were cramping up a bit in the last five minutes, but all was okay.
From a performance point of view I thought I did okay. I was nothing special by a long shot, and know that I have much more in me that’s waiting to come out. The manager and Pembo were there and I know after a run of games I will be up and flying and back to my best.
I find it appropriate to add on a bit to this week’s blog after our 1-1 draw at home to West Brom on Monday night. I sat up in the main stand with the rest of the Youth team as we do every week, and I have never been through the emotions so much.
I’m Palace through and through, and was on the edge of my seat for the whole game. I felt more nervous than the play-off final against West Ham, and was praying we got the win.
The game was full of passion and heart and I don’t think you could have asked too much more of the players. The game was so inspiring and just made you want to be out there in the action.
After the game I saw Dannsy and he looked gutted. He has been one of our, if not our best, player of the season and it was hard for him to end his season that way. He didn’t think he did too much wrong he just said he reacted when he knew he shouldn’t. But in the heat of the moment these things happen.
We don’t deserve to be where we are – we are not down there because of the players. They have given everything all season, and battled against all that has been put before them.
Personally I think the 10 point deduction rule is a joke. Punish the people who deserve it, not the players – they have done nothing wrong. As the previous Manager has said, putting the Club into administration doesn’t get a resolution any sooner. If you add the Bristol City game at the start of the season with ‘THAT’ incident, we would be sitting comfortably mid-table in a very different predicament.
I felt proud to be a Palace fan on Monday night, and felt so inspired to push on and play for this Club one day. I stood with Jerry and my girlfriend long after the final whistle and just looked around Selhurst thinking ‘I will do anything to play here’.
Also, get well soon to first year scholar Karl Knight who had a hernia operation on Monday. He has been struggling with a problem for a long, long while and it has taken a long time to diagnose. He said he’s a bit sore after the op but his main focus now is to just get back for pre-season in good shape.