founder of naked leader
Time to Read: Enough to make the play-offs
Time to Listen: 02:45
Time to Watch: 12:18 – Woking FC TV (4th goal on 10:16)
This one’s for you Garry and Steve
Garry Hill and Steve Thomson – two leaders who have transformed Woking Football Club
I have written before about the strength of their partnership being their very different personalities (and unconditional respect for each other), I have spoken at conferences about the loyalty they inspire from their players – demonstrated by the results achieved on the pitch.
This is the first time I share with you the moment of all moments. When they took charge in late January 2011, Woking was in 11th place and well adrift of the play-off place we had achieved the previous season.
In the 19 league games that followed, we won an extraordinary 14, drew 2 and lost only 3, putting us in 6th place. To finish 5th, and in the play-offs, we had to secure 4 points from our final two games – at home to Weston Super Mare on Easter Monday 25 April, and away to Ebbsfleet the following Saturday 30 April – who had already secured their place in the play-offs and as local rivals we knew would do us no favours.
So, in short we had to beat Weston at home, and then secure a draw at Ebbsfleet. On paper, Weston looked a safe three points – they were mid-table, and were playing quite a few academy players in their team. However, football isn’t played on paper, it is played on grass, and Weston had come to spoil the party…as the match report summed up:
What ought to have been a straightforward home win over a mid-table side turned into a roller-coaster ride which, in turn, appalled and delighted the Kingfield faithful as the Cards went 2-0 down, pulled the game back to 3-2, conceded an equalizer and then grabbed all three points with the best of four superb home goals.
The extraordinary moment came with the 4th goal, in the 82nd minute.
Picking up the ball out right, Andy Burgess looked up and then caressed the ball with his left foot up and over the keeper and into the far corner. A goal worthy to win any game.
And we drew at Ebbsfleet, and we lost in the play-offs, but G and T got back up again, and we were crowned champions the following season.
With love and best wishes to Garry, Steve and you, wherever you are
Thanks to photographer David Holmes