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Thread: Kids and Grown Ups Love Him So........

  1. #26
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    Once again before he knew it, it was kick off time and Harry again found himself standing in the centre circle with Dave Mooney ready to kick off.
    If Harry was honest, he was knackered! This would be his fourth game in 10 days and he had completed ninety minutes in all of them but he was not going to pass up a starting berth just for a bit of tiredness.

    The game turned out to be a bit of a let down and it allowed Harry to not have to hit top gear too often and it allowed him to conserve some energy.
    It was played more like a testimonial, with players for either team reluctant to go into a challenge for fear of picking up an injury on the eve of the season proper starting.

    Harry had a quiet game and came away without actually having a shot on goal. He was a little disappionted by this.
    The game was won by a solitary goal and again it came from Anthony Wordsworth. A simple tap in at the back post after good work down the right from Ashley Vincent.

    At the final whistle, the whole Colchester squad went to the away fans to applaud them for all their support during the hectic pre season schedule.
    It had gone incredibly well and Colchester United and not to mention Harry were unbeaten, with three wins and a draw.

    Now there were more than two weeks off before the start of the Second Division campaign, an away tie in another town that Harry knew well, Brighton.

    Is this going to be it? thought Harry. It gets proper now. Matches that matter. Surely the Gaffer can't keep me in the side when there are actual points on offer.
    Harry had a fortnight to mull it over before he was to find out.

  2. #27
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    Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Thursday, 12 August 2010
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    English Second Division
    Withdean Stadium Date: Saturday, 14 August 2010 Kick-off: 1500 GMT
    Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live & local radio & highlights on Football League Show

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Brighton are at almost full strength as they kick off their league campaign at home. Goalkeeper Peter Brezovan may not make the squad after pulling up in training. Kazenga Lua Lua has returned for a second loan stint at the club and should play. Glenn Murray will be hoping to pick up where he left off last season and start the season scoring.

    Colchester United have no injury worries and after a strong pre season will be coming into this game on a high. Loan signing Dave Mooney has settled in perfectly and scored two in four during the season warm up. Club captain Kemi Izzet has also been lauding his colleagues and speaks of an exciting season ahead. Young Harry Bow may be included in the squad and if he see some action will become one of the youngest players ever to play in the Football League.

    Suspended: None Doubtful: El-Abd (Face), Sandaza (Hamstring), Brezovan (Groin)
    Injured/unavailable: none

    Suspended: None Doubtful: None
    Injured/unavailable: none

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Gus Poyet:
    "We just want to get off to a good start. At home you know. It's important if we are to have good season. The players are ready and we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. Colchester are strong. They will cause problem, but I think we have enough in the squad to win."

    John Ward:
    "Brighton are a good side, very fluid in their football and we have to be ready for that. We have had a good pre season so we go into this tie full of confidence. The squad have played well under difficulties with changing formations and personel but have still come out on top. I hope the Birmingham game gives them the belief to take us on to a good season."

  3. #28
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    Soon it was Saturday 14th August 2010 and Harry Bow found himself........


    Harry had not made the squad. He was disappointed but had a feeling that he wasn't going to. He was called in on the day before the game and told by the manager.
    He'd come a long way since signing for the club. There had to be a step back and this was the first of his career.
    He took it on the chin and went home.

    As it was, he didn't lose his place to a fellow forward. John Ward decided to play one up front in the first game of the season and after a successful pre season, that place was always going to go to Dave Mooney.
    Kayode Odejayi kept his place on the bench and the team took to the field in a 4-5-1 formation.

    And what a game it seemed to be. The number of times that Jeff Stelling cut to Alan McInally in the gantry at the Withdean was amazing. Goal chances, errors, defensive mistakes, it had it all. It had goals as well.

    It was Colchester that took the lead and within 90 seconds of the new season starting. Ashley Vincent went bombing down the right flank, beating his opponent Marcos Painter and getting to the byline. He somewhat scuffed his cross but it made it to the near post area where Kemi Izzet was arriving to nod home. What a start for United and Harry began thinking about a season in the higher reaches of the division.

    He should have held his thoughts a little as within 6 minutes, Brighton were level and by half time, Albion held a 3-1 lead. Glenn Murray had bagged two and Marcos Painter had grabbed the other.

    On 68 minutes, right back Inigo Calderon curled a free kick over the wall and past Ben Williams to make it four.
    Man of the Match Ashley Vincent did pull one back with 15 minutes to go but it was too little to have an effect on the outcome and Brighton came away 4-2 winners in a pulsating encounter.

    There was no reserve team fixture on the day so Harry was at home with Medi. Carl was still in the first team squad as the reserve goalkeeper.

    Harry didn't know whether it was because he found it hard to live with a 15 year old or the fact that Harry had got playing time in pre season but he found Medi being increasingly frosty towards him as time had gone on. Today for example, they had hardly spoken apart from when Harry made him a cup of coffee early in the morning.

    At 4:45pm with all the games finished, Harry decided to escape the tension and went out for a run.
    The Second Division results were in:

    leaving Colchester 3rd from bottom on goals scored.

  4. #29
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    Back in for training on the Monday after the game and the draw for the League Cup 1st Round had been made.
    Colchester had drawn First Division Burnley at home. Another tough tie for the U's.
    Harry felt that he certainly had a good chance of making that squad as the fixture was pencilled in for just three days after the upcoming league fixture, the first home game of the season against Notts County.

    Training was all going well and in the warm up games Harry was paired up front with both Mooney and Odejayi but those two were never paired together.
    On the Thursday of that week, Harry was again called into John Ward's office.

    "Harry. Sit down. We need to have a chat." said Ward.
    "Ok Gaffer." said Harry as he sat at the boss's desk.
    "We need to have a chat about school I'm afraid. I've been making arrangements to get you enrolled but also to discuss your attendance and hour's with the principal.
    We've signed you up to The Gilberd School which is the closest to the stadium. It's also a pretty good school so shouldn't have any problems. We know the GCSE options you had already chosen at your old school so you will be in those classes here.
    You will be going to school every day apart from Friday's and you will only do half day's on most.
    This does mean you will miss morning training with us but I don't see that being too much of a problem. You'll still be with us for the afternoon sessions. Any midweek games you will be available for and of course Saturday games.
    I had a look at the options you chose. Two languages you're studying. That's brave."

    "Yes Gaffer. Spanish and Italian. You never know when that big move will come!"

    Looking at Ward's face it looked as though Harry's throw away quip had not gone down well.
    When he thought about it, it wasn't the most professional thing to say. Less than two months into a career with someone and you are already talking about moving on to bigger things.

    It looked as though it had made Ward's mind up on something though.
    "Well Harry. I have to tell you, you won't be featuring too much in the first team at the moment. Unless we really need you. I want you to concentrate on your studies and don't want anything to get in the way. If you impress me sufficiently in training then I'll have no choice to pick you but until that time, you'll just be on the fringes. Ok?"

    Harry was still a little in shock that his joke had apparently gone down so badly so he just nodded agreement.

    On the way home, Harry thought about what he had said. He could see where he had put his foot in it but hoped that the comment hadn't been the reason he was not being considered. Ward had always been pretty good to him up until this point so he decided that he was just doing it for Harry's benefit.
    It did mean if Medi was not selected either it would mean more frosty days at home for the both of them.

    And so it was, that on the coming Saturday, Notts Co came to the Colchester Community Stadium and grabbed a 2-2 draw.
    Then, Burnley showed their class by dispatching Colchester 3-0 in the League Cup 1st Round tie. Making things even worse were the fact that club captain, Kemi Izzet picked up a groin strain and would be out for the next three weeks.

    It had not been a great start to the season for Harry Bow or Colchester United.
    When were things going to look up?

  5. #30
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    The following Friday, Harry was attending his new school for an open day. He had been there since 10am and was most of the way through the tour.
    It looked like a decent place. The school was good for sports so Harry could take his mind off of football and school by joining in other sports.
    He was walking through the corridors with the rest of the induction party when the tannoy system crackled into life.


    Harry looked up.


    So he hadn't imagined it!
    He had no idea where the head's office was. The induction leader gave him directions but once he had rounded the second corner, he couldn't see the double doors that were described in the explanation. He was lost.
    He wandered round for around ten minutes before he saw a sign that said reception. He followed the arrows and when he arrived at the reception, the lady on the desk started to describe the way to go.
    "Erm, er would you mind taking me there? I've er, been searching around for quite a while. The announcement was ages ago. The Head will be waiting. Not a great first impression for a new student!

    Harry felt doubly embarrassed considering the receptionist was relatively attractive.

    "Oh, go on then. But only because you're new, right! Don't expect these kind of favours when you start for real!"

    She took him through a couple of corridors and asked him to sit down outside a room and knocked on the door. She popped her head in, spoke and then came back out.
    "He'll call you in soon ok?" she said.
    "Yeah. And, and thanks! Harry stammered.
    The receptionist smiled back at him and went back to her desk.

    A couple of minutes later, the headteacher came out and ushered Harry into the office.
    "It's a pleasure to meet you Harry but today, you are not here to see me. I have someone here to see you."

    Harry was utterly confused. That was until he saw his manager, John Ward standing behind him.
    "Afternoon Harry. You're probably wondering why I'm here?"
    "Well yeah. I was wondering.
    "Well as you well know I'm sure, we have a game tomorrow. Well, you are in the squad. I'll put it as simply as that because if I'm frank, the bus leaves in a hour and a half and after waiting for you to get here for so long we have lost a bit of time.
    We are going today for the game tomorrow so I need you to leave the induction day and come now, get your stuff together and we can be on our way."

    "Oh. Ok Gaffer." said Harry.

    As they got into the car to take Harry home, Ward explained that he had had a look at the opposition and the likely players that they would include in their squad and felt that it may be a game that Harry could get involved in, to expose a weakness or two.
    They made it to Harry's and he rushed in to pick up the things he needed and a wash bag. He usually had one ready in his room anyway so that saved a bit of time.
    He returned about 5 minutes later and they went off to the club.
    They made it there just as the rest of the squad were coming out of the stadium about to board the bus. Ward parked up his car and they both got on to the bus.
    Everyone piled on to the bus and soon they were ready to leave. Harry sat with Carl and said to him
    "Bet you didn't think you'd b sitting next to me on the bus for a while!!"
    It was a bit of a whirlwind 2 hours.
    From being at what would be his new school, finding out about the place to his manager turning up at the school to flying around getting ready for a Second Division game the next day.
    It was all a bit much and Harry very soon fell asleep.

  6. #31
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    When Harry woke up, they were just entering the city centre in the town they were going to play the next day.

    He'd been asleep for a while but didn't really feel rested. Carl was asleep as well so he looked over his friend's shoulder as they pulled up at the hotel they would be staying in.

    That was the Marriott Hotel Bristol and in the morning, Harry would be in the squad for the game against Bristol Rovers.

    Harry was rooming with Carl as well and after dinner with the rest of the squad, they both went up to their room to get an early night. As it turned out they stayed up for a while as Austin Powers: Goldmember was on TV. Harry loved that movie.

    They left the hotel the next day after a quick lunch and arrived at the ground at around 1:30pm.
    Out onto the pitch to warm up and Harry was feeling confident. Spraying balls around the pitch, trying his best to warm up Carl but instead pinging balls into the top corner without really trying to, the Gaffer had sent for him specifically stating that he thought he could make a difference in the game.
    It was all falling into place and Harry felt for the first time confident of being chosen in the starting XI, unlike pre season when he was constantly thinking he would be dropped.
    They returned to the changing room to find the teamsheet on the back of the door.

    1. Williams

    25. White
    2. Powell
    3. Beevers
    4. Okuonghae

    17. Perkins
    7. Vincent
    14. Bond
    8. O'Toole
    22. Wordsworth

    19. Mooney


    13. Pentney
    16. Henderson
    18. Gillespie
    15. Odejayi
    26. James
    9. Bow
    60. Donnelly

    Harry had made the bench.
    John Ward had again gone for his favoured 4-5-1 formation with just Mooney up front. Kayode Odejayi was also on the bench so gave Colchester lots of options going forward.
    Harry was content.
    He thought to himself as he zipped up his tracksuit jacket that the Gaffer must be having a look at the game before he makes any changes.
    At 2:55pm, Harry made his way down the tunnel and took his seat on the bench in the away team dugout and waited for kick off.

    The game was not a great one from a Colchester perspective. Two down within 18 minutes through Rovers striker Will Hoskins and an own goal by Andy Bond, they pulled one back five minutes into the second half with a strike from David Perkins.

    Harry immediately left the dugout to warm up. Now would be the time to make a change surely? Colchester had got themselves back in the game and the confidence had risen since the goal.
    But the change did not come until the 68th minute and then it was only a like for like change. Ashley Vincent off, Ian Henderson on.

    As Welsh international Gavin Williams scored Bristol Rovers third in injury time, Harry was back sat on the bench, confused as to why neither striker on the bench was used, what Ward's speech about being a game changer had been about and wondering where the clubs first win of the season was going to come from.

    But on the plus side, Harry had made the squad for an English Second Division tie. Albeit an unused sub but in the squad at the ripe old age of 15. He had to be proud of himself.

  7. #32
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    This went on throughout September, with Harry being named as an unused substitute.
    It did however coincide with an upturn in Colchester's fortunes.
    After the defeat to Bristol Rovers, United embarked on a 6 match unbeaten run, four of those wins to propel the club up to the heady heights of 8th in the division, just outside the playoff places.
    Harry had also started at school so things were busy for him. He had made a few new friends, no surprises that they were sporty types and they had convinced him to join the table tennis team as well.
    He had settled quickly due to this and was instantly recognisable around the school grounds just due to the fact that he was a pro footballer.
    He also had time to brush up on his coaching manuals as he hadn't had much time to dedicate to his coaching badges since his playing career had started.

    Chic Charnley was signed as assistant manager to Ward during September and 18 year old Nathan Webb was signed for a fee of 60,000 from Hayes and Yeading United as cover for the midfield.

    To start October, the club had three home games in a row. Losing first to Huddersfield, then winning against Swindon and to follow a game against Hartlepool.
    Harry was on the bench in all three games, unused in the first two but after Richie Humphreys had scored to make the score 2-2 in the Hartlepool game, Charnley leaned in and whispered something to John Ward. Mere minutes later, Harry was standing on the touchline having his studs checked by the 4th official and was ready to come on for his debut.


    Harry shook hands with O'Toole and trotted on. He gave a few instructions to the midfield and settled into the same position attacking midfield role that O'Toole had played. He had been told to play a little further forward though, more on the shoulder of Mooney who was playing as the lone striker.

    He had 14 minutes to make an impression on the game. And that he did.
    Three minutes from time, Ashley Vincent chipped the ball forward to Harry on the left hand side of the bo. Harry held off his man laid the ball back for Kemi Izzet. Izzet in turn played in Simon Hackney.
    Hackney beat his man and crossed into the box where Izzet had continued his run to flick in a header to win the game 3-2.

    The Colchester fans went wild, the players went wild. A well earned win and a priceless three points.

  8. #33
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    By SHAUN CURTIS at The Weston Homes Community Stadium
    Published: MONDAY 18th SPETEMBER 2010

    A little bit of history was made here this afternoon with Colchester United forward Harry Bow making his debut aged just 15 years, 9 months and 15 days old.
    That makes him the FOURTH youngest player of ALL-TIME in the English Football League. He came on for the last 14 minutes of Colchester's 3-2 win over Hartlepool United.
    Bow joins the exclusive list of young debutants which is headed by Reuben Noble-Lazarus who made his debut aged just 15 years and 45 days old. Next in line comes joint second of Albert Geldard who played for Bradford Park Avenue in 1929 and Ken Roberts who played for Wrexham in 1951 both at the age of 15 years and 148 days.

    The pulsating tie was eventually settled by a Kemi Izzet goal to hand the spoils to Colchester.
    United are on a strong run of form currently and sit in the top half of the table.
    All may not be settled in the squad though as reports state that defender John White has announced that he wants to move to a bigger club and a number of players complaing that they are not seeing enough first team football. But tonight will be about Bow and he will surely celebrate rightly tonight.



  9. #34
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    Harry had done well on debut. His official match rating for his 14 minutes was a 7 which he didn't think was too bad considering he was only on for a quarter of an hour. He'd had a hand in the winner which would have helped but he figured that the rating had been a little kind considering it was his debut.

    Monday morning at school was mental.
    Everyone wanted to come and give him a pat on the back or a handshake. Students and teachers alike.
    He was called up to the front in morning assembly to receive an award and a certificate from the headtacher. He had never signed his name so many times in one day.
    The amount of people that got detention because they got Harry to sign their school shirt was unbelieveable!

    When he left school, instead of the normal car sent from the club, the car meeting him was driven by his father. And in the passenger seat was his mother. They had a letter from the club which was written by Ward.

    "Congratualtions on your debut Harry. A very accomplished and mature performance. I look forward to many more to come in the future.
    However, today you have no need to come into the club for training. I was aware that your parents were coming up today, so you may spend the afternoon with them.
    I will also add that our next fixture is against Carlisle away this coming weekend but due to the distances involved, I will not be including you in the squad. This is for your own safety and fitness. There will be a lot of media attention on you now after the debut and I don't want you to be too distracted from your studies. Also, Carlisle is a fair distance away and can be quite sapping a journey. Not really what you need after a week at school.

    Once again, congratulations on your debut and I'll see you in Training on Wednesday."

    Harry understood the reasons behind the decision but couldn't say that he wasn't disappointed. He had now played, enjoyed it and wanted to play more. He hoped it wouldn't be too long before he featured again.

    His parents took him home and after changing out of his uniform and they decided to spend the afternoon at Colchester Zoo.
    As they walked round looking at all the animals, it gave them the chance to discuss how he had settled in, and how he felt things were going. That was in between people recognising Colchester's newest star and asking for autographs. Harry was very obliging and signed every one and posed for a few pictures as well.

    Harry explained that he was very good friends with housemate Carl Pentney but didn't really feel a connection with the other, Medi Elito. He stated he didn't know why but felt it might be because he had seen first team action and Medi hadn't to this point this season. Making his debut was certainly not going to make things any better if he was right.

    After the zoo, they went into town and enjoyed a dinner at Pizza Express and after they dropped him back at home, Harry waved off his parents again and went inside.
    It had been a good day all told but Harry was tired.
    Maybe Ward was right. On top of today, he had a full week at school to get through. Would he still be up for travelling all the way up to Carlisle after that. He would never know.

  10. #35
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    Harry missed the next two games which were away from home against Carlisle and Exeter City and as he approached the end of October, Harry was again included in the squad for the home tie against Bournemouth.

    The team were still doing well and sat 7th in the division before the tie.
    Harry was fit and looking forward to joining in the good run of results but it was only a place on the bench that he had earned.
    On the day the squad was announced, the first round draw for the FA Cup was also made and Colchester drew what could be seen as a tough draw with an away tie against fellow Second Division team, Brentford. They currently sat 2nd in the division so that was going to be far from an easy tie.

    From a Colchester point of view, John Ward had made a slight tweak to the formation with the attacking midfielder sitting in front of the midfield four moving to sit just behind them.

    Game time came round and Ward addressed the squad in the changing room before they took to the field.
    "More of the same please. There's not much more I can say. We've made a great start to the season and I just want us to keep that going today. Everyone knows their individual role but we have to continue to keep working for each other, as a team.
    Above all, enjoy yourself and hopefully the result will come."

    The team were pumped up. Even the subs. Harry among them. He had enjoyed his taste of football and despite missing the two previous games due to the long travel time involved, he was glad to be back in the fray and was eager to come off the bench to make another appearance.

    The teams made their way out and Harry took the seat in the dugout directly behind Ward.
    The game kicked off and Harry listened intently to what Ward and Charnley were discussing. He had sat there for a reason and every little thing that they said he took in.
    Little changes, pushing the full back on, occupying the winger, all techniques that he may well be able to use in later life.

    The match was a good one for Colchester. They controlled the opposition for near on the whole game and restricted Bournemouth to just three shots on goal in the whole game.
    Colchester's goal came just after the half hour through on loan striker, Dave Mooney, his sixth of the season and in all honesty it should have been more but they could not convert the chances.

    On the hour, Ward made his first substitution of the game bringing on midfielder David Perkins for Kemi Izzet.
    Twelve minutes later he made his second. Ward looked over his shoulder. "You're up!" he said to Harry.
    Harry was already warmed up as he had been doing so for most of the second half. He walked to the touchline and waited for the ball to go out of play. When it did, the fourth official held up the electronic scoreboard. On one side he saw his own number, nine, on the other he saw the number 17.
    The man coming off was David Perkins.
    From what Harry had seen, Perkins hadn't done anything wrong, he certainly wasn't injured. It was definately a weird one.

    "Sorry Davie. I'm not sure what's going on?!" said Harry as they shook hands.

    Harry jogged on and as he was a straight swap replacement spent the remaining 18 minutes plus injury time in a centrl midfield position.
    It was quite a good position as it allowed him to get forward to support Mooney as Lloyd James was playing as the defensive midfielder and Andy Bond was happy to sit as well after an energetic performance.
    As with his debut, Harry did well. He didn't miss a pass completing 9 out of 9 and two minutes from time h nearly capped the performance with a goal.
    A flowing move resulted in a cross coming in from the right which Harry met in the air but was unable to direct goalwards and it went over the bar.
    It was a difficult chance as there were no less than 3 opposition defenders jumping with him but as he had got to the ball first, Harry couldn't help thinking that he might have done better.

    So 1-0 it finished and the result lifted Colchester into the play off places. After the game, Harry was reminded that he had still yet to lose a game in which he had played in his career.
    Now there was a stat he wanted to keep going as long as possible!

  11. #36
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    The next two fixtures were away from home so Harry didn't expect to be involved. And he was right. One of those was the FA Cup First Round tie which Colchester lost 2-0.
    Just the league to concentrate on until the turn of the year.

    Harry figured he may be involved in one or more of the next four fixtures. Tranmere, Peterborough, Brighton and Sheff Wed.
    They were all home fixtures so Harry felt it was a good chance to add to his appearance record in the side.
    However, although he made the bench in some of them, he did not manage to make it on to the pitch and as it was as his birthday approached, Harry had not played again since his Bournemouth cameo.
    Colchester in his absence were doing well though. Since the 4-0 defeat against Carlisle on 19th October, the club had lost just two games. The Brentford cup tie and the last game before Christmas, a 2-0 reverse against Dagenham and Redbridge.
    They sat 5th in the division and with a game in hand. If they won that they could go fourth and the top of the table was just 6 points away.
    The season had been going fantastically well so far and Harry was a little disappointed that he had only two 15 minute appearances to show for it. Dave Mooney's form was the main reason for this. 12 in 22 league games was a great return for the loanee and he had very much made the lone striker role his own. The attacking midfielder berth was back and Harry could of course play there but that position was sewn up by John-Joe O'Toole, possibly the best player at the club.

    The Gaffer John Ward informed Harry that he would not be in the squad for the Notts County game on Boxing Day so he would allow him time to go home. Harry decided that it would be a nice surprise for his parents if he didn't tell them he was coming so, on the morning of 23rd December, he left Colchester bound for his parents house.
    The train took him to Stratford International so he could have a look at the building works going on for the 2012 Olympic Games which were to be held in London.
    There he changed and got another train into what was called the Garden of England and before long he was disembarking again ready for the short walk to the family home.

    He rang the doorbell and as his Mum came to answer the door she threw her arms round him and gave him a huge hug.
    She looked at him and the smile drained from her face as she said
    "Are you here for Christmas Day?"
    Harry nodded.
    "Oh my!" she squealed.
    She grabbed her coat from the hook by the door and ran off.
    As she disappeared past him he heard her talking to herself.
    "Not enough food! Have to get more! And drink! And mince pies!"

    Harry went in and entered the front room where his Dad was sat.
    "Hello Dad. Harry said.
    His Dad's head flew round to see his son standing there.
    "Son! What a surprise. What you doing here? Haven't you got a game tomorrow?"

    Harry explained that he was not in the squad and had been allowed time at home.
    He settled in at home and had a good sleep that night. The next day he went to see a few old friends to wish them Merry Christmas. It was good to walk down the street without being recognised as the young guy who plays football. He was recognised in Colchester but only a very small number of people in Kent knew who he was.

    Christmas Day was a large affair with both his parents, his younger brother, aunts, uncles, grans and granddads all there to enjoy what could only be described as a feast!

    Afterwards, Harry was stuffed. He hardly had room for his portion of Christmas pudding!

    Harry had enjoyed Christmas immensely and was a little sad that he had to leave early on 27th December to get back to Colchester for the home tie the next day against Bristol Rovers. He was again an unused sub as his teammates won 2-0 to keep their momentum going.
    He was also upset that he would be spending his 16th birthday later in the week away from his family.

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    As it turned out, Harry had a very quiet 16th birthday. Most of his clubmates were at home ready for the New Years Day clash against Walsall.
    Some of those not in the squad did take Harry out for dinner but it was quite an early one as Harry then returned home and the ones old enough to drink went out to enjoy the last day of the year.

    The squad did the club proud with a win against Walsall and followed that with a win against Brentford to take them to third in the division.

    Some interesting transfers had gone through on the first day of 2011 as well. Steven Gerrard making a 16m switch from Liverpool to Barcelona and Angelo Palombo moving from Sampdoria to Chelsea for 10m probably the stand out two.
    There was interest in a few Colchester players as well. Central defender Pat Baldwin is being looked at by Birmingham and Wigan and loanee Dave Mooney, whose contract runs out in the summer, is being scouted by Ipswich, Forest and Sheff Utd. Also, in transfer news Medi Elito had been added to the loan list and fellow forward Kayode Odejayi had been added to the transfer list at his own request in a bid to find first team football.

    It took just two days for Mooney to sign a pre contract agreement. He will join Sheffield United but not until July 1 so he will stay with Colchester until 15 June. Good news for the club.

    Then on 10 Jan, the transfer window kicked into life for Colchester. They accepted a 525,000 bid from Bristol City for John White. He had been looking to move for some time and seemed happy to move. The second was for Pat Baldwin. With a couple of clubs interested it certainly helped Colchester's cause in getting a good price and he eventually signed for Wigan in a 1m deal.
    The club invested it almost instantly, bringing in goalkeeper Scott Shearer from Crawley Town for 60,000 and Jake Hyde, a 20 year old forward from Hayes and Yeading for 160,000.



    Good signings for the club but of course Harry was not so thrilled on another forward joining the club.

    By the end of the month, there were many more high profile transfers going through.
    Luis Fabiano - Sevilla to Milan - 14.25m
    Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Barcelona to Napoli - 10m
    Scott Parker - West Ham to Arsenal - 9.25m
    Jermaine Jenas - Spurs to Liverpool - 6.25m
    Salomon Kalou - Chelsea to Liverpool - 3.7m

    So, the transfer window closed, Colchester had lost their main central defender but had strengtened in other areas. But the club were still flying along. They sat second, by virtue of goal difference alone, with third place just a mere point behind.

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    Into February and Colchester secured a place in the Vans Trophy South Semi Final with a 3-0 away win over Plymouth Argyle.
    The team had really found some form and everyone in the town was hoping for a successful second half to the season as well.
    Football had grabbed the attention of Essex folk somewhat as along with Colchester's good position, Southend were doing well in the Third Division also sitting 2nd there.

    Harry even got a little bit of inolvement in the home tie against Cahrlton Athletic. Harry came on for Dave Mooney with 12 minutes to go and gain showed glimpses of his potential.
    Deja vu struck two minutes from time when, as it did in his previous appearance, a cross was swung in from the right to a waiting Harry. He rose and headed the ball towards goal and unlike his attempt against Bournemouth, he got it on target.
    Unfortunately for Harry, Charlton keeper Iain Turner was there to throw out a hand and divert the ball round the post.
    Harry held his head in his hands. It was 1-0 to Charlton and it could be that Harry had thrown away the chance of a equaliser.
    He needn't have worried. From the resulting corner, Matt Heath nodded in a wonderful goal to square the tie.
    More was to come, Colchester managed to steal the ball from Bradley Wright-Phillips almost straight from the kick off and after a 17 pass move, Kemi Izzet passed through the opposition defence finding the run of Andy Bond who slipped the ball through the legs of the keeper for the winning goal.
    The fans went wild, the players went wild and Harry's unbeaten run continued.

    More great news awaited them as they got back to the changing room. Southampton had only managed a draw at home to Yeovil so Colchester were now out and alone at the summit of the Second Division.

    16 games to go. A big three months until the end of the season to come.

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    But before the league games came the Vans Trophy South Semi and the draw had paired Colchester with....Southampton.
    Of the three other sides remaining, Southampton, Charlton and Third Division Cheltenham, they had drawn the toughest.
    The fact that it was an away tie at St Mary's made it all the harder.

    The Tuesday came round very quickly and it gave Harry a day off from school as he was in the squad as they left Colchester around 1pm for the evening kick off.
    Harry had been making more and more appearances in the squad and was in it more than not these days. He was enjoying life but was still not getting carried away with it. He was still concentrating hard on his studies. Everyone was telling him that GCSE's are very important in life.
    This Harry felt was true, even though he was already in employment and hopefully would be for the next 20 or so years at least.

    So on the coach, Harry had books regarding the Weimar Republic, the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. Harry loved history and it was probably one of his favourite subjects, after PE of course.

    After the 3-0 win over Southampton the previous November, the Colchester team were confident of another positive result.
    Southampton though were in good form themselves and are sitting 2nd in the division and with the likes of Kelvin Davis, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rickie Lambert in the squad it was never going to be an easy encounter.

    And so it proved.
    It was a very tight affair, back and forth it went from end to end. Mooney and O'Toole having good chances for Colchester, Vine and Schneiderlin for Saints but at the break it was 0-0.

    "Good effort lads. Let's not fall apart in this second half. We haven't had a test like this for some time now so we need to keep on top of them. We're doing well but nothing is done yet. We've got at leat 45 minutes to get through.
    Go out there, be tough, be strong and make a point to our doubters. Now get back out there!"

    And that was John Ward's team talk. The eleven were sent back out onto the pitch early and had to wait around 5 minutes before their opponents made their way back out onto the pitch.

    The second half kicked off and it was more of he same. Apart from one thing. A goal. And it went the way of the hosts. Jonathan Forte picked up a loose ball just outside the area, got the ball out from under his feet and blasted the ball into the bottom corner.

    The goal came just before the hour and with twenty minutes left, Colchester made a change. Dave Mooney had run himself into the ground for the cause and had no more to give so came off and that meant the introduction of Bow.

    Twenty minutes and his unbeaten streak was at risk. Harry did not want to lose that stat so set about garnering an equalising goal for his side.
    He was involved in a couple of moves which nearly resulted in goals. He lead the line well but with his team mates tiring fast it was a worthless cause and Colchester went down at the semi final stage by the single goal.

    Harry had lost for the first time in his professional career. But instead of feeling down about it, Harry as looking forward to the next game and getting a place in the starting line up.
    Despite the defeat, things were still looking good for Colchester United.

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    As it happened they lost their next two league games with Harry on the bench but not featuring.
    He did make a short appearance when they got back to winning ways against Carlisle to return to the top of the table.

    During the week before the game, Colchester blatantly flouted the transfer window rules by signing young goalkeeper Jack Turner from AFC Wimbledon for 65,000 and in a double swoop young full back Jimmy McNulty from Brighton for 80,000.
    Also, in a quite amazing twist, Dave Mooney pulled out of the deal taking him to Sheffield United at the end of the season and instead signed pre contract forms with Colchester to sign permanently from 1 July.




    With both Turner and previously Scott Shearer coming in, it meant Carl Pentney being added to the loan list so now both of Harry's housemates were on the lookout for short term deals away from the club.
    Carl took it a lot better than Medi had and was looking forward to the possibility of gaining first team experience elsewhere.
    Medi seemed happy playing for the reserves, where he had made 17 appearances this season. He didn't seem like he wanted to try and push on and make the first team squad.
    Now and again Harry still felt a bit of animosity from him but it was nothing like the atmosphere from earlier in the season.

    February finished with Colchester top of the table and consolidated their position with a 2-1 win over Hartlepool in the first game of March.

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    Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

    Bournemouth 1-2 Colchester
    Bow Hits The Target

    Bournemouth 1-2 Colchester

    By Dan Walker

    Harry Bow today scored the first goal of his professional career as Colchester United defeated Bournemouth to open up a four point lead at the top of the Second Division. In doing so, Bow 16, became the fifth youngest goalscorer in Football League history.

    It took him just three minutes after his second half arrival to make his mark on the game and put the tie beyond the reach of Bournemouth despite a late scare.
    The U's led through Kemi Izzet's speculative strike, which took a heavy deflection and wrong-footed the Cherries keeper Carlo Nash.
    They looked to have sealed it when Bow had a header saved but was first to react to expertly finish after the Cherries were caught on the break.
    But Marc Pugh's diving header gave Bournemouth some hope and a late rally saw Michael Symes twice denied by Colchester keeper Ben Williams.

    Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury told BBC Radio Solent:
    "We passed and moved the ball really well. It was just in the final third today where it broke down."

    "That's four games in a row now where we've performed well and got nothing...that's a disappointing result and I don't think the lads deserved that."
    "Hopefully the fans can see we are trying to play the right way and do the right things."

    Colchester United manager John Ward told BBC Essex:
    "I'm absolutely thrilled to bits to beat a good side, and I have just said that to my team.

    The pleasing parts of the game were that our defensive position was absolutely spot-on.
    To beat a good side you need to be a good side yourselves.
    And of course I'm pleased as punch for Harry. He's waited a while for it. Patiently I might add. It's been a bit of growing burden for him so I'm glad he'll get it off his back."

    List of youngest Football League scorers

    1. Ronnie Dix, born 5/9/12, scored for Bristol Rovers on 3/3/28 aged 15 yrs 180d
    2. Reg Stockill, born 24/11/13, scored for York City on 31/8/29 aged 15 yrs 280d
    3. Alick Jeffrey, born 29/1/39, scored for Doncaster Rovers on 15/1/55 aged 15 yrs 351d
    4. Ian Gibson, born 30/3/43, scored for Accrington Stanley on 23/3/59 aged 15 yrs 358d
    5. Harry Bow, born 31/12/94, scored for Colchester on 9/3/11 aged 16 years 67d

  17. #42
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    Harry was ecstatic to be off the mark!
    To score the goal that turned out to be the winner!
    To have the ability to get to his own saved header before the defence.
    He was absolutely over the moon.

    From a personal point of view, Harry really wanted to kick on from here and cement some more playing time, maybe even some starts. From a club point of view, he wanted to help the club consolidate their position, not only in the promotion spots but at the top of the table.
    They had a 7 point cushion back to 3rd and the first play off place, a huge 18 points back to Carlisle in 7th and missing out on the playoffs altogether. With just ten games remaining, Harry was confident they would hold the top six but when called upon would work hard to make sure they had a shout at the top two.

    He had no time to rest on his laurels and receive accolades at school however as Harry had coursework to hand in the next day at school and also a Spanish oral exam with Miss Montoya.

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    Off the field, Harry's luck continued.
    Miss Montoya commented that Harry's oral technique was exemplary.
    All his coursework had been passed and was essentially now in reading and study weeks before the exam period hit.
    Exams fell nicely for the end of the season as well as the last game of the scheduled season was 8th May and Harry's first exam was on 16th May.
    This was another reason that Harry was striving to ensure that the club made automatic promotion as the playoff semi finals were either side of that and the playoff final on 29th May came at the end of a week where Harry had to endure no less than 4 exams.

    On the pitch, Harry did not feature in the next two fixtures, although he was on the bench. Those two fixtures resulted in draws against Exeter (3-3) and Swindon (1-1). After these two fixtures, they still held a two point lead at the top but with a massive game against third place Southampton to come. A win would keep them on top, a defeat could possibly take the club down to third with the Saints leapfrogging them and the prospect of Peterborough going top. Add to that the fact that Southampton still had a game in hand on the top two and things were very tight and by no means over.

    With the teamsheet handed in, it was obvious what John Ward was trying to acheive. The 4-5-1 was still in operation with Dave Mooney up top but Ward did not select another forward on the bench. No Odejayi, no Hyde, no Gillespie and no Bow.
    Clearly Ward saw a difficult day ahead and was going to set his team up accordingly.

    But ten minutes into the game, things changed.
    Kemi Izzet had a rasping free kick parried by Southampton keeper, Orkan Avci, a 30,000 buy from Vaduz, but he parried it into the path of John-Joe O'Toole, who attempted to skip round him before being felled by the keeper.
    PENALTY! and Avci's punishment?

    Guly do Prado was the man sacrificed to bring on sub keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.
    His first act though was to pick Ashley Vincent's perfectly taken penalty out of his net.

    Things got better for Colchester just eight minutes later when Izzet got his goal, heading in a deep corner from Lloyd James to score his 10th goal of the season.
    Things were going so against the grain that photos released after the game show John Ward shrugging his shoulders at how well the team were doing. He had obviously not thought that Colchester could handle the attacking prowess that Southampton possessed. How wrong he was. Chic Charnley obviously believed. He was the one on the edge of the technical box, encouraging the players, spurring them on.
    It obviously worked as Dave Mooney had added a third by the end and Colchester had dominated the game from start to finish.
    This again opened up a five point lead at the top of the table.
    Could Colchester sustain it?

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    Into April and Harry made a 25 second appearance in the 2-1 away against Tranmere.
    The lead after the game was just three points after Southampton won their game in hand.

    But better was to come a week later when Harry was handed his first start in the home game against Rochdale.
    Harry was over the moon. He found out on the Friday and immediately got on the phone to his parents to tell them. They agreed that they would come up the next day for the fixture.

    There were a few changes to the starting line up. 18 year old Jack Turner came in for his debut in goal. Nathan Webb played on the left side of midfield and of course Harry up top.

    Rochdale were in 8th and just a few points out of the playoff places so it was going to be a tough match and the changes made by John Ward were certainly bold.

    Bold they were. Inspired they were also!
    Colchester took to the field on a run of seven games without defeat. Rochdale had not one in three, losing their last two.
    But it turned out to be a very close tie. Decided by two moments of brilliance.

    The teams paraded out at 3pm and Colchester looked nervous.
    They lined up and Kemi Izzet was seen visibly trying to raise his team.
    It took just three minutes for a response. Colchester were passing the ball around. It came back from O'Toole who passed simply to Izzet. He in turn passed it to central defender Matt Heath who strode forward and unleashed a 35 yard drive into the top corner of the net!

    The gathered attendance of 5,414 rose as one, apart from the 350 travelling Rochdale fans, to salute a stunning strike worthy of teams two divisions above this one. Heath ran around with his ams outstretched in an aeroplane motion and ran towards the Colchester bench where he high fived Ward before hugging Charnley. The rest of the team followed and he soon had ten outfield players and the substitutes on top of him in a massive bundle.

    From there on in, Colchester were comfortable. Rochdale threatened and had a few shots at goal but The U's always looked in control.

    Into the second half and Colchester were awarded a free kick on the right edge of the penalty area. The ball was crossed in and Harry rose above his marker Marcus Holness to get a solid header on goal. The effort was saved but spilled by Rochdale's keeper, Owain fon Williams. It fell to the feet of Matt Heath, who lashed the ball home from no more than a yard and a half to seal the points and extend the unbeaten run.

    Harry himself had a splendid game. The header that lead to the second goal was just one of his key contributions in the match. He lead the line superbly, he ran into channels and was generally a nuisance for his opponents. What he particularly impressed himself with was his prowess in the air. He was a beast in the air on the day. He had never thought of himself as a strong player in the air but he had been getting better since he joined the club and the dividends were now starting to show.
    If it hadn't been for two goal Heath, Harry would have been man of the match.
    As he walked off at the end of the game, he looked up to where his parents were sitting. He could tell, even from a distance, the proudness on their faces. This made him even happier.

    The win guaranteed the club a playoff place at the very minimum. But with a six point lead and just five games remaining, sights were set a little higher.

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    It was another first for Harry in the next match, away to Plymouth.
    His first yellow card!
    For shoving Plymouth's Carl Fletcher off the ball. He was certainly not letting anyone intimidate him. Not even players that have captained their countries like Fletcher.
    He looked up to him as a peer and hoped to emulate his achievements with his own country one day but on the field he was certainly not intimidated.
    Something else he wasn't getting, was goals. Harry had again started ahead of Dave Mooney but again despite another rousing display and a match rating of 7, he was unable to hit the net and the game ended 0-0. The lead at the top reduced to 5 points with 4 to play.
    Next up was another tough tie, Brentford, and to make matters worse it was only two days away.

    The game soon came around and Bow kept his place up front, keeping both Mooney and Jake Hyde on the bench. He knew he had to produce the goods in front of goal or his starting berth would be seriously come into question.

    As it happened, he didn't score but he did produce a man of the match display to help his side come from a goal down to draw another game. He had his chances to score, having three of his sides four shots on target but was unable to take one and was met by an in form goalkeeper in Richard Lee. It was Bow's long range effort that was turned round the post by Lee that lead to the equaliser. The corner was swung in by Lloyd James and was headed home by Ashley Vincent for his 5th of the season.
    In the changing room, news filtered through that Peterborough had lost away to 4th placed Carlisle and Southampton had been suprisingly turned over by 17th placed Hartlepool. The lead that meant was back to six points with three games and just nine points to play for.
    Possibly the biggest game of the season, one that could all but confirm Colchester as Champions or blow the title race right open, would follow on Saturday. Peterborough. Away.

    School at the moment was quiet. A lot of pupils were at home to do their studying before the exam period kicked in. Coinciding with this was Harry undertaking a 13 day course to hopefully at the end of it gain his UEFA 'B' coaching licence.

    Special dispensation had been given to Harry given his circumstances that he be an active professional footballer and the fact that he was just 16 years of age.
    The usual minimum age was 20 years old but it was decided that given his current profession, it was unlikely that he would be applying for any jobs before his 20th birthday. Also, it was usually mandatory that all course dates be attended. This, again was overlooked due to his line of work and possible travel commitments.
    It had been decided by the club that Harry take the local course in Colchester, as opposed to one elsewhere in the off season. Being nearby, this would allow Harry to miss less of the course if the club had a home game on a day when he was due in. So it would be off to the University of Essex in Colchester.
    It did however mean Harry missed the first day completely due to the away tie at Plymouth but he was able to attend all the other days up to the 20th. His man of the match display against Brentford came after a full day of learning on the course.
    Harry would need to return in June to complete his course, eventually having to successfully show the practical delivery of a themed 45 minute coaching session utilising coaching session formats from the course syllabus culminating in a minimum of 20 minutes in either a phase of play or a small sided game (8v8).

    There were a number of current and unemployed players there including Nick Barmby, David James, Lee Carsley, Kevin Phillips and Sol Campbell. One person who stood out to Harry though was a man who went by the name of JohnLocke.

    There was just something about the guy. He held himself really well. You could tell he hadn't been a pro player. He just came across differently to the other guys in the room but boy did he know what he was talking about. He had the technical side of things down to a tee. He was already a manager at non league Bracknell and had already got himself a reputation for 'saving games'.

    A big future lay ahead for JohnLocke that was almost certain.

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    Not surprisingly, with the biggest game of the season ahead, and Harry not scoring, he dropped to the bench for the visit to Peterborough.
    Dave Mooney reclaimed his place up front.
    Harry understood the decision. Although he was playing well, a centre forward is in the team to score goals and he just wasn't doing that.
    Mooney had the experience and that was the decision made.

    He travelled with the squad and they were in buoyant mood. They could win the division if they won the match and that was the thought on everyone's lips. Everyone except John Ward that is. He was being realistic. He knew the danger that Peterborough possessed.

    The Second Division trophy was taken to London Road and was prominent in the tunnel as both teams took to the pitch.
    What better motivation would a player need. A win for Peterborough and they were right back in with a shout of winning it. For Colchester, a win today and it was their's. Today. At the home of the second place team.

    And from the kick off it was clear who wanted it more. Peterborough were quite simply over-run! Colchester were on top in every department. They were quicker to the ball, they were snappier in the tackle and after eight minutes, they had a goal lead.
    Joe Lewis in the Peterborough goal, threw out the ball intended for his central midfielder Grant McCann but it was a poor throw and it landed at the feet of Andy Bond.
    Bond had the simple task of running down the wing, squaring the ball across the six lard line for Dave Mooney to slot the ball under Lewis' body for a 1-0 lead.
    It was more than Colchester deserved and it gave them an extra lift, pinging long passes from wing to wing, holding possession for extended periods of time and frustrating their opponents.
    In the 28th minute, things got better. Provider of the first goal Andy Bond, headed back a long cross from the left but instead of it going square across the box, it looped over Lewis and nestled in the back of the net.
    A very lucky goal but the goal had been coming.
    This was more than they deserved and it could have been more before the half time whistle blew. The visitors leading 2-0.

    Darren Ferguson must have put a rocket under his players in the half time team talk as the second half was a complete role reversal. Colchester were poor but Peterborough were a team on a mission.
    Craig Mackail-Smith tucked away a clever finish on 52 minutes and with over half an hour to go it looked as though an equaliser might come to stop the title being taken from them on their own patch.
    Mackail-Smith and strike partner Dave Hibbert had chances but were off target or svaed by Turner in the Colchester goal.
    In injury time, Hibbert hit the bar from seven yards and that was the last chance of the game.
    The referee's final whistle blew and everyone in the ground connected with Colchester United went crazy! The subs all ran on to the field, Charnley was out there dancing a merry jig. The kit man, the physios, everyone out there celebrating with the players on the achievement. The title was going to Colchester and with two games to spare. John Ward even allowed himself a smile as he was congratulated by Darren Ferguson and Peterborough Managing Drector Barry Fry.

    A stage was hastily erected at the away end and within ten minutes, the full squad had shook hands with the dignitaries present and

    Kemi Izzet had lifted the Second Division trophy aloft to the adulation of the visiting supporters.

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    What a feeling!
    Things could not get better for Harry Bow at this moment in time. Second Division Champion at the ripe old age of 16.
    He just needed to get the final two games of the season out of the way and then it was back to studies and coaching badges. A whole different focus.
    Colchester rounded off their season with defeats. 1-0 at home to Dagenham and Redbridge with Harry playing 83 minutes and 2-1 away at Sheffield Wednesday with Harry picking up the Man of the Match award.
    Despite the two defeats, Colchester still managed to win the division by six clear points.

    Southampton gained the second automatic spot ahead of Peterborough who had to be content with a playoff place.
    Sheffield Wednesday's last day win wasn't enough to save them from relegation and they will begin next season in the Third Division.

    Colchester and John Ward were wary that their goals scored column was not the best, even being outscored by 19th place Brighton.
    Harry would hope to have a hand in improving it also.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea won the Premier League on goal difference from Arsenal. Manchester United the FA Cup and Manchester City the League Cup. Both the UEFA Cup and European Cup cam back to England as well as Liverpool won the UEFA Cup and Manchester United the European Cup.

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    June came around and Harry again met up with the other participants at the UEFA B course and also Harry sat the first of his GCSE exams.
    Each day that Harry attended school there was a local media circus. Stories focusing around the GCSE student who had already won a league, Bow being a schoolboy superstar in Essex was hot news.

    Harry himself thought he better join the social networking revolution so he went home after his English Literature exam and

    set himself up a Twitter account.
    Harry figured that there would probably be some stories made up about him in the future and this would be the best way to set things straight.

    The UEFA Course was going well and more than Harry expected was sinking in.
    Harry generally hated exams and seemed to freeze when he got into the exam hall but now he seemed more relaxed and despite what it meant at the end of them, he was enjoying the GCSE's and the UEFA course. More dates at the beginning and end of August would complete that course and he had just three more exams before he was done with the school exams as well.

    Carl and Medi at home were being as helpful as they could with regard to the exams but Harry was keeping himself to himself and was spending a lot of his time in the school library. His focus was on the end of the week. The exams would be over and he could finally relax.
    Also at the end of the week the squad would depart and go their own way for the summer. A time to relax and what Harry needed was a holiday. A time to get away and take stock.

    Phew! The week ended and Harry visibly felt relief lift from his shoulders. Exams over. Course on hold until August. As he left the club for the final time that season, he heard that forward rival Kayode Odejayi had left the club as well. Permanently. Signing for Sheffield United in a 200,000 deal.
    Harry's end of season stats were quite impressive for a debut season. But for the lack of goals.

    Harry headed back to his parents house in Kent to meet them, relax and be a young person for the summer.
    He needed a holiday and had just the idea for him and his old friends to get away!

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    As soon as Harry got home, he got on the phone and arranged a meet up with his mates.
    Within the hour, five of his friends had met him in town and they were already discussing Harry's season.
    Derm, Andy (known as Foddy), Cal, Mark and Shaun were eagerly getting details of what Harry had been up to over the last 12 months.
    Harry gave details on where he lived, his housemates and anything else they asked.

    "That's enough about me boys. Let's talk about us and the summer. Let's have a holiday!"
    "What? Where?" said Cal
    "I don't know. Anywhere. Somehwhere abroad. Somewhere hot. A big one. I know I have to be relatively restrained. But this could be the last time I can go on holiday without anyone recognising me!"
    "Well you'll have to do it without me I'm afraid boys. I've got to go to Alfreton for the summer. Don't ask!" said Mark sadly.
    Ah man. That's a shame. What about the rest of you? You up for it? Harry asked.
    "Well yeah. Sounds good." said Shaun. "I'll have to tap up my mum for the money though. All my money is tied up in a website venture at the moment! Going for Young Entrepreneur of the Year I am!"
    The friends all laughed.
    The four agreed to the trip and spent the rest of the afternoon discussing possible destinations and what they would get up to.
    They departed leaving Harry to look online for any deals on the shortlist of destinations they had chosen.

    Whilst online, Harry also heard news from the club that despite the promotion, Anthony Wordsworth was angling for a move to a bigger club and Andy Bond had gone on to the transfer list by request because he wasn't sure he would continue to get games and stay in John Ward's plans, this despite him starting 13 times and making 21 sub appearances last season.
    He did have interest in him though with Blackpool, Cardiff, Norwich and Q.P.R amongst the clubs interested.

    But that was all put to the back of his mind as he had a holiday to plan. He looked on the internet at places to go.
    Of the destinations they had chosen to go to, Harry found one that was stand out cheaper than the rest. It had a bit of a reputation but Harry was excited. He hoped his friends would be to.

    They all met the next morning.
    "Lads. I've found it. The perfect place for us to go on holiday. It's going to be wild. Now. Question. The place I've found is 283 per person for a week but for only a bit more we can go for two weeks at 306. What do you reckon?"

    "Never mind that now." said Derm "Where we going more to the point!"

    "Ah......" began Harry.
    "Our destination will be...............MALIA!!!

    "Two Weeks!" said Foddy immediately. A massive smile on his face.
    Last edited by ebfatz; 16-03-12 at 04:47 PM.

  25. #50
    ebfatz is online now Social Media Bod
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    Holiday booked and with two weeks to go before departure, Colchester announced the signing of Myles Weston for a fee of 90,000 from Brentford.
    An attacking left midfielder, he would be a useful addition to the squad.

    The signing was probably hastened along because Ashley Vincent was aiming for bigger things and had informed the club that he felt he needed to leave to further his career.
    This happened on 1 July at the opening of the transfer window.
    Also going through on the day was the completion of Dave Mooney's permanent transfer from Reading on a Bosman free and goalkeeper Ben Williams leaving the club.
    First choice for most of last season, his performances had caught the attention of Premier League scouts and he moved on to Everton in a 200,000 deal. He may even end up as number 1 after Tim Howard was sold by the Toffees to Udinese.

    Elsewhere in the world of transfers, Nicolas Anelka returned for a second spell at Arsenal in a 7m deal from Chelsea.
    Anderson left Man United to join Barcelona for 6.25m but was replaced in the Old Trafford midfield by Aaron Lennon, moving from Spurs for 5m.
    All these transfers went through on July 1st so it looked as though it was going to be a very busy window.

    Harry and his friends were ready for their holiday! Clothes purchased. Passports checked. Derm had even procured a few fake ID's for them for whilst they were out there so that they could be served without being busted.

    They were ready and then something that shocked the world of football happened.
    England, top of their European Championships Qualifying group, and having conceded just 1 goal in the last 8 games, sacked their manager Fabio Capello.
    It was understood that he disagreed with something about the internal running of the FA and it was not a football matter.
    But still it shocked football and left a very powerful nation without a manager at a very crucial time in qualification.

    That would give Harry something to stay in touch with whilst he was away.
    He wondered who would get the job. The bookies were unsure as well. Most of the worlds best managers were already employed but the two free agents at the time were Frank Rijkaard and Rafa Benitez. They were installed as co-favourites but past that it was anyone's guess.
    Would the FA go English or appoint another overseas coach? Harry thought about applying himself but thought better of it. He would only embarrass himself in the interview and he was really not ready for a job of that magnitude.

    Soon the 15th came around and the four friends set off for the airport.
    Exicted was not the word. For a ouple of the friends it was their first time away without their parents so they were a bit apprehensive but certainly all four were looking forward to the trip.
    They arrived and said their goodbye's to Cal's Dad who had given them a lift.
    They all looked up to the sign on the building as he pulled away.

    "This is it lads. We're on our own now!! This is going to be epic! said Harry.
    "Yeah it is!" replied Derm
    The other two nodded along, not too sure what this two weeks was going to entail. Cal had fears of getting mugged, beaten up, robbed. Foddy had visions of hoards of women hanging off his am every night.
    They all had very different ideas of what this two weeks was going to bring them but were all were very much looking forward to it.

    Finally, after check in and strolling round duty free for a while, they were called to the gate and all filed on to the plane. Before long, they were in the air and on their way.

    A few hours later, they landed on the warm and sunny island of Crete and Harry was greeted with some interesting news from the BBC News ticker that was running on TV's in the arrivals lounge.
    England had appointed Steve Bruce as their new manager.
    Harry obviously knew of Bruce but didn't know the man personally. Harry hoped as he grew older he may have more interaction with him if he managed to break into the national team setup.
    Harry had this on his mind as they took their transfer to the hotel and disembarked to look at where they were staying.

    It looked nice and Harry liked that it would be pretty quiet if it needed to be.
    They settled in, unpacked and started to think about what they were going to do on their first evening. It was around 4pm when they arrived so had a bit of time to kill.

    By 8pm, all four were in the hotel bar and ready to hit the town for the first time that holiday. They all had the first drink in hand and you could tell by the looks on their faces that there would be many more to come.

    Drink finished, they headed on the short walk on to the strip.

    It was not far along the strip when they were approached by a man.
    "Alright lads" he said in a suspiciously English accent.
    "Come into the bar and you'll get three for the price of one on your drinks. Just 5 entry each"

    The friends looked at each other. It seemed too good to be true. But they couldn't turn down that drinks offer.
    They walked in and paid their entry fee and then found out it was too good to be true.
    The place was empty! Not one person was in there!

    This was not the best start but Derm being Derm decided to make the best of it. Soon he had persuaded most of the guys to join him.

    Despite being the only guys in there, they were enjoying themselves.
    Soon a few other people entered the bar and Derm wasted no time trying out his moves on them.

    "Practice makes perfect!" he winked to the guys.

    They left that bar after around an hour and made sure they weren't hoodwinked into any empty bars again.
    They did frequent quite a few bars though and as the night went on it became a lot more hazy for all of them.

    Harry woke the next morning and was thankful that he was in his own bed. Then he heard a noise. He got out of bed and went into the lounge.
    Cal was sitting there with a cushion over each ear.

    "What the hell is that? asked Harry.
    "It's Derm. Shagging. And if it's the one I remember, she's stinking! Horrible looking bird. But he's doing her anyway!"

    This went on every night for the first 10 nights of the holiday. They would go out, get wasted and wake up to the sounds of Derm having 'relations' with another random girl.

    Midway through the second week though, they all woke up but Foddy was missing. After a couple of hours, they found him. Not too far away. In a field next to the hotel. He was asleep but was using something a little unusual as a pillow.
    They shook him awake. He didn't look good.

    Harry, Cal and Derm all looked at each oher and burst out laughing!!

    Harry by this point needed to stop drinking. He thought he had been permanently drunk for around 7 days and with pre season training and the UEFA course to complete when he returned home, he needed as long as possible to get all the alcohol out of his system.
    He spent the final four days of the holiday either lounging by the pool or on organised excursions.

    The other three had no such troubles. Although Cal had considerably cut down his intake since spending 24 hours with his head in a toilet in a drunken haze.
    But they were still out each night and loving it.

    By the end of the holiday, Harry was refreshed compared to the others. He still wasn't free of the alcohol as his burps would testify but he was well on the way to full recovery. Foddy and Derm though were in a world of trouble. It was 15 minutes until the coach would be leaving for the airport and Foddy hadn't packed at all. Derm was barely packed and was asleep on the sofa and Cal had picked up a stomach bug from a dodgy meal the night before and was moving slowly.

    Harry woke up Derm and chucked all of Foddy's stuff in his suitcase. He gave Cal a bowl and they were ready to go. No one sat next to Cal on the coach. He threw up. A lot. There was a toilet on board so he could get rid of everything that came out luckily for everyone else on board.

    By the time they reached the airport, Cal was looking a little better but Harry, who had studied this kind of thing on football courses, suggested buying some bananas and peppermint tea to aid the upset.
    Cal would happily eat the bananas but flatly refused peppermint tea and opted for peppermint chewing gum instead.
    By the time they were called to the gate, he did look decidedly better so they all boarded ready for the flight home.

    The other three all fell asleep whilst Harry watched the Inbetweeners movie on the in flight show.
    It was amazing how closely their holiday had mirrored the one in the movie.

    A few hours later, they landed back at Stansted.

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