What had been another frustrating week for all of us at the club finally took a turn for the better with the news that our excellent young goalkeeper, Nicole Gair is now just one trial away from being selected for England Schools Under 15s.

Nicole, who is just 14 already plays for the Biggleswade United Under 16 girls side. On November 12 she successfully negotiated South East v South West trials held at Thatcham Town FC and will now take part in a North v South final trial to be held at Stafford Town FC on December 10.

After that match 16 players will be selected for the final squad with training weekends arranged at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in January and February.

To say I am thrilled by her selection doesn’t even get close to describing how I felt when I heard this wonderful news.

It is truly a great honour for her but also a tribute to the superb coaching and help she has received from our excellent Academy staff and of course the guidance and wise counsel she gets from her supportive family.

Her commitment, positive attitude, enthusiasm and total dedication are a credit to her and an example to everyone, and we wish her all the success in the world

Now we are all keeping our fingers crossed that she can make over the final hurdle and into the England line up.

Of course we shouldn’t really be that surprised at Nicole’s success because the spirit and camaraderie that exists within so many of our younger Academy sides is conducive to achieving success.

On December 3 Academy chief, Fran Constancio and his team are organising a FIFA style tournament that will incorporate six different drills with prizes for the winners and other events like the raffle of two replica shirts signed by Premier League players.

It is events like these that help to nurture and build up the spirit between players, coaches and parents that is so vital and is precisely what will eventually take this club to where it wants to be.

Back to the first team, and after a more than respectable showing against unbeaten league leaders Berkhamsted had earned us a 2-2 draw, a fairly toothless display against Hoddesdon meant we left Hertfordshire with nothing to show from our efforts following a 1-0 defeat.

We need to get back on track and quickly if we are to salvage something from what has up to now been a season as frustrating, as it has been disappointing.

And we can’t expect any favours from Harpenden Town who call into Second Meadow tomorrow (Sat ko 3pm) and who will be going all out for a win as they try to narrow the gap at the top of the table between themselves and league leaders Berkhamsted.

See you there

Guillem

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