Monday, 25 June 2018

TALKING TO FERGUS MOORE - THE COLD END MEETS THE NON-LEAGUE VETERAN

MOORE IN ACTION FOR EDGWARE TOWN LAST SEASON 

"Is there a player older than Fergus Moore still playing regularly in Senior Football?" is a question many local football fans have asked over the last few seasons especially if they have seen Edgware Town play when the now 46 year old central-defender is on the pitch - It's been a regular occurrence over the last few seasons that he has been double the age of many of the players in his and his opponent's teams.

Moore was made player/co-manager of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side last season and the North London side finished in a respectable tenth position in the table. 

The self-styled non-league veteran and dinosaur has a book "And Sometimes the Dog Was Busy..." to be published early in the new season which chronicles his long distinguished career which started in the late 1980's at Brentford. It will be available at all good bookshops and many of his former clubs - I highly recommend it - it's going to be a must read for many fans with an interest in non-league football.  

I recently spoke to Fergus about his amazing career and the forthcoming season with Edgware Town - 


WINNING AN AERIAL DUAL FOR EDGWARE TOWN LAST SEASON 

FERGUS MOORE'S CAREER TO DATE

1989/90 Brentford 
1990/91 Brentford / Yeading FC initially on loan. (The season after they won the FA Vase). 
1991/92 Yeading / Staines Town on loan then signed for them 
1992/93 Uxbridge  
1993/94 Uxbridge  
1994/95 Uxbridge 
1995/96 Wealdstone  
1996/97 Wealdstone  
1997/98 Wealdstone 
1998/99 Wealdstone. Joined Chertsey Town FC at the turn of the year 1999/00 Hemel Hempstead Town
2000/01 Hemel Hempstead Town  
2001/02 Wealdstone 
2002/03 Hemel Hempstead Town 
2003/04 Hemel Hempstead Town. Joined Boreham Wood early in the season 2004/05 Boreham Wood. Joined Northwood early in the season 
2005/06 Northwood 
2006/07 Wealdstone 
2007/08 Wealdstone. Moved to AFC Hayes then onto Edgware Town 
2008/09 Leyton FC. Joined Berkhamsted Town FC on loan, then joined Bedfont Green 
2009/10 Bedfont Green (who became Bedfont Town) 
2010/11 Bedfont Town (Player/Assistant Manager) 
2011/12 Windsor. Joined Hanwell Town FC mid-season 
2012/13 Cockfosters 
2013/14 Cockfosters 
2014/15 Cockfosters. Moved to Edgware Town FC mid-season
2015/16 Edgware Town
2016/17 Edgware Town 
2017/18 Edgware Town (made player/co-manager during the season)

WHAT'S YOUR SECRET TO KEEP ON PLAYING AT SUCH A HIGH LEVEL? 
For every person it’s different but for me it’s the adrenalin buzz I get from it. Perhaps it’s a fix I need to survive! To be fair even from being a kid at a young age my love for footy was there. It’s something that has never gone away or seems to have dwindled. Call me mad or whatever but i can’t break loose from it. Maybe the fear of not knowing what it would be like not to have it drives me on. I guess I could be seen as a stubborn old man never knowing when to say no but EVENTUALLY it will happen and I will have to adapt. It has helped going into a player/manager role as I can gradually stop rather than just BOOM it’s finished! It might be a case of #onemoreyear this season which I’ve been saying for about 10yrs!

WHAT ONE BIT OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNGSTER WANTING TO MAKE IT IN THE GAME? 
Simple - play as many senior games as you can at a young age rather than massaging your ego and bigging yourself up on social media. 

What I mean by this is that there are a lot of decent young players out there who would for instance rather train and be a squad player for a team higher up the non league pyramid than play a level or two below on a regular basis and by doing this they can keep their social media status high - UTTER RUBBISH!! 

Get out there and learn the game! It is a big jump from youth football to senior football so get out there amongst it. Trust me I’ve seen it happen loads in my career if you are good enough for a higher level in the game you will get spotted and get a move. It may take you a season or two but nothing beats getting that experience at an early age. 

WHATS THE BEST BIT OF ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN IN FOOTBALL? 
It’s something that I have taken literally and that is play as high as you can for as long as you can. Do I need to say anymore? LOL! 


FERGUS IN ACTION FOR WEALDSTONE EARLIER IN HIS CAREER

WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER YOU'VE EVER PLAYED WITH AND AGAINST? 
I’ve answered this question a few times and I seem to give a different answer every time. The best player I have played with is Simon Garner when I was at Wealdstone. He came to us in the twilight of his career but boy was he good! He was and still is I believe Blackburn Rover's all time top goalscorer. 
(Simon Garner scored 192 goals (168 league) for the Lancashire club between 1978 to 1992 and is still their record goalscorer)

Even though as I said he was getting on a bit he showed a great desire and application for the game. He was so quick in his head with what he was going to do with the ball that and despite his age he was still was quick over the first few yards on the pitch. When he signed for Wealdstone halfway through our Championship season in 1996/7 he was our catalyst. He got us through when we started to struggle towards the end. Amazingly it was his first medal as a championship winner and he was just as proud of that fact as many of-us mere non league players! He was a great character as well who loved being just one of the lads.  

The best player against is difficult as no one has really ever got the better of me!!!!! Joking aside I couldn’t get near DJ Campbell in his pomp at Yeading. Quick was not the word and he was also a great finisher. Also Ashley Young I remember from when he was starting to make his name at Watford. I was at Northwood and it was a pre-season friendly - he must have knocked it past me from about 15 yards away and got on the end of it!!! Him right winger and me left back what a mismatch that was.

There have been a few players who have gone onto better things in the game who I’ve played against which says a lot, I think, about the standard of non league football. Long may it continue! 


WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE GAME PLAYED IN? 
Two games stand out. 

My first title win at Wealdstone in 96/97. It was a dramatic climax as we had to beat Northwood away on last game of season to make sure of title. What made it harder was Northwood had sealed promotion in 3rd place and were unbeaten at home all season. We won 3-1 and Braintree who finished up runners up had won their final match 8-0 so a draw wouldn’t have been enough. It was a fantastic day capped off with the presentation night afterwards - You can safely say a few pints were consumed!! 

Secondly when I won the FA Sunday Cup at Anfield with the Duke of York from Northampton. Paul Lamb who has been a team mate of mine a few times was the captain and lived in Northampton. He asked me to play and because of our friendship I did and I’m so glad I did. It is a national cup and even though it maybe classed as a Sunday Cup it is a very high standard! On the day we beat a team from basically down the road from Anfield. The odds were against us but we won 3-1. I was and still am a Liverpool supporter so to win it at Anfield was like all my childhood dreams come true - A truly awesome day! I fill up now thinking about it!! 

(The 2003 FA Sunday Cup was won by Duke of York - they beat Allerton 3-1)

WHO IS YOUR FOOTBALLING HERO? 
Growing up as a child as I’ve said I was a Liverpool supporter so I loved Dalglish as at the time believe it or not I was a goalscoring whipper snapper - WHATEVER HAPPENED THERE!!

Later on and more present day my heroes would have Paul McGrath and Roy Keane. McGrath for his pure class and the battles he fought both mentally and physically. Keane for his unbelievable passion and will to win. I remember watching him in the flesh at Lansdowne Road versus Portugal for Ireland. He single handily won the game for Ireland.  

WHAT ARE YOUR AIMS FOR EDGWARE TOWN THIS SEASON? - ARE THERE ANY PLAYERS AT EDGWARE WHO FANS SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR? 

Like a few at this level on #zerobudget my aim is to try and better our 10th place from last year. The youngsters in the team (and there was a lot) hopefully have learnt and will kick on more this season. We will also be looking for a good cup run in all competitions especially the FA Cup and FA Vase as they can be quite lucrative.

Whatever the club can make is great but I would like to give the players some sort of financial reward however little for their efforts since I have been in charge. With Paul Marks returning to the club he can help me install that winning mentality to the players to give them that cutting edge. 

The three players that gained recognition at the end of season awards have all committed to next season so I’m looking for them to play a big part again this season - Dan Pett (Player's player and supporter's player of the year), Omalolu Onabolu (Top goalscorer and Manager's player of the year) and Rio Beech (Young player of year). 

They were all unknown quantities as I started last season from scratch so hopefully some more hidden gems can rise to the surface this coming season.


Omalolu Onabolu in action for Edgware Town last season



HOW HAS IT BEEN GOING BEING A PLAYER/MANAGER? - THE BEST BITS AND WORST BITS?
To be honest it’s been bloody hard work!! Not until you become a manager at this level do you appreciate how hard it is. Not just the football side where players can’t commit as work takes preference but off the field as well.

How do you go about trying to find a physio, coach, goalkeeping coach etc when people expect to be paid for it! That’s why I applaud the people I have got and at other clubs that do things on a voluntary basis. For now I concentrate on doing the best I can with Edgware rather than think of what might be a club with some sort of resources. On the playing side I’ve taken great enjoyment when we have got wins v the higher placed teams. The joy I must admit was extra special when indeed I managed to play my part in those victories.

FINALLY, BALDOCK TOWN HAVE BEEN PROMOTED SO YOUR TEAM WILL BE FACING ONE OF THE MOST WELL KNOWN SPARTAN LEAGUE PLAYERS IN DEFENDER LIAM KENNA* NEXT SEASON. HAVE YOU PLAYED AGAINST HIM BEFORE AND HOW DID HE PLAY? 

(* Liam went viral no social media last season when he was tweeting FA Cup updates from the Baldock bench in August. His message apologising for lack of updates as he had to go on for the last ten minutes was RT'ed thousands of times. He was even told by Assistant Referee to put his phone back on the bench when he entered play.)
WHO???.... no seriously we have only crossed paths a couple of times but always had good battles versus him and his teams. He certainly likes to have his say on and off the pitch which I don’t think is a bad thing as the game currently is certainly lacking characters in comparison to past years! I'm looking forward to renewing battles with Liam and his Baldock team!!


Many thanks to @paulholdrick for the use of the Edgware Town photos
Many thanks to @one_eye_looking and @MarkHyde13 for the use of the Wealdstone photo. 


As I've stated the book (to be published soon) is going to be a great read so I highly recommend you to buy a copy and why not pop down to Silver Jubilee Park to see the man himself and watch Edgware Town in action - He may even sign your book if you ask him nicely? To register an interest in the book please send an email to office@cams-associates.co.uk with 'Fergie' in the title or follow @one_eye_looking on twitter. 

Thank you to Fergus for taking the time to speak to The Cold End - I wish you the best of luck for the forthcoming season. At 46 years of age and still to be playing regularly at a good standard of football really is an incredible achievement that should be applauded by fans up and down the country. 

EDGWARE TOWN PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY DATES
(Please check @EdgwareTownFC twitter for venues and kick off times before travelling especially with the potential world cup games it's likely some kick off times may change)
Saturday 7th July - Bushey Sports 
Tuesday 10th July - Rayners Lane 
Thursday 12th July - HENDON 
Saturday 14th July - Harefield United (@ Brunel University) 
Wednesday 18th July - POTTERS BAR TOWN 
Saturday 21st July - Chalfont St Peter (@Brunel University) 
Monday 23rd July - HANWELL TOWN 
Saturday 28th July - EGHAM TOWN 
Tuesday 31st July - BROADFIELDS 

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