Ben Burgess: Proud of hard working players..and derby win

My team of winners from Hawes Side School
My team of winners from Hawes Side School
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We’ve all seen teams scraping wins against the run of play. In the Championship under Simon Grayson we were practically experts at it.

So it was through the skin of their teeth that Blackpool held on for an extremely important three points against Fleetwood.

The game didn’t turn out to be the typical blood and thunder occasion witnessed so many times in derbies before. Instead, Fleetwood imposed themselves well on the match and dominated for large periods. Stephen Pressley will be unbelievably disappointed that his side, that had nine shots on target away from home, still managed to lose to a team that didn’t even test his goalkeeper!

Going into Saturday’s game only Crewe were below the Seasiders so it was essential McDonald’s men won, just to keep away from the dreaded bottom spot.

McDonald said after the game that the performance wasn’t important, it was just about getting the result.

I agree with him completely and for confidence alone it was imperative the seven defeats on the bounce were put thoroughly behind Blackpool.

So, with Fleetwood struggling to convert their many chances at Bloomfield Road, ex-Town star Jamie Vardy was scoring against Manchester United to make it eleven games on the run, and as a consequence breaking the great Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in ten consecutive Premier League matches.

This is an incredible feat, especially considering I couldn’t even stay fit to play in eleven consecutive games, let alone score in any of them! His story is a remarkable one and his next record to beat is only Lionel Messi’s twenty-one game scoring streak!

Vardy is an absolute dream player for any manager to have, and I should know after Mr Smith and I faced the biggest day in our brief managerial careers leading Hawes Side Academy at Stanley Park on Wednesday.

The culmination of months of hard work on the training ground came down to the grand finals of the Blackpool Primary Cup competitions for the boys and the girls teams.

I haven’t been that excited about a football match for ages, the children just take it in their stride but I was up late the night before reading Sir Alex Ferguson’s book and trying to pick up some last minute managerial tips! Although our children won’t cause us quite the same problems as an angry Roy Keane or a posing David Beckham did for Sir Alex.

In the space of a day we went through every emotion a manager could go through. The boy’s team won the semi-final 3-0 and then came up against an extremely talented Stanley school in the final. We always drum into the children at school that hard work in every area of life is what brings success and football is no different.

They made us extremely proud as we hung on for a draw and then came the dreaded penalty shootout! After the sixth penalty in sudden death we were finally beaten.

What impressed me was that every player who missed their penalty was treated the same as those that scored by their team-mates.

Thankfully our girls team, who have trained so hard for over a year, finally got the success they deserved as they came from behind in the last few minutes to win an 
excellent final against an impressive Anchorsholme, 2-1.

Seeing all their drenched little faces as they fought for each other on the pitch and continued to pass the ball as we ask them to was a wonderful moment.

I didn’t quite slide on my knees (a la Brian Kidd) at the end, but we certainly celebrated.

Sport in Blackpool is such an important outlet for so many children.

With 30 Primary schools in the area, organising this event and similar events in other sports must be a logistical nightmare but volunteers spend hours of their own time and energy to make it happen.

For me personally, I feel this is where the obscene amount of money swashing around Premier League clubs should be getting filtered down to. This is where every future Premier League player will start their footballing 
journey, and more long term thinking from the people in charge of the cheques, will make sure events like this continue to be a success and can grow further.