Wayne Anderson: Don't doubt Fakenham players' commitment
PUBLISHED: 14:52 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:54 11 October 2017
Wayne Anderson rescued Fakenham from relegation, led them to promotion and then a place in the Norfolk Senior Cup final at Carrow Road.
But his reign as Ghosts boss turned sour even before their big night out when he was sacked – a situation which appears to have been at the root of these troubled times at the club. Anderson’s name is at the centre of the controversial match mutiny at Clipbush Park on Tuesday, when players refused to fulfil their league fixture against Great Yarmouth Town.
The link begins with his dismissal and carries on through the recent departure of his successor, Robbie Harris. Anderson – who is currently assistant manager to Neil Simmons at Dereham Town – was asked to return to Fakenham. That, he said yesterday, was fine, as long as the “mess” and the “toxic” situation at the club was cleared up. But before anything happened, members of the club committee put paid to a return. Neil Jarvis, who had worked alongside Anderson and is regarded as Mr Fakenham, then stood down as caretaker boss after Saturday’s game.
If there is a touch of soap opera about this, then the punchline comes with what happened next as the players said “enough is enough”. So, while Yarmouth players were warming up ahead of the game on Tuesday, there was not a Fakenham player in sight.
Anderson wasn’t there, but while he feels for Great Yarmouth and their supporters, he believes the players had no alternative, such is the parlous state of the club.
“I have seen that people have questioned their commitment, but over the eight years I was there, every one of them gave 100pc total commitment to the football club,” he said. “They gave everything – and all they were paid for all they did was a tenner.
“The club broke my heart: I put everything into that club and then, before the cup final, I was sacked. Three weeks before the cup final I was told we could not practice set-pieces on the main pitch and we had to go to Little Snoring to train and practice on a council pitch. Why? When we played in the semi-finals we had one lad who came back from St George’s Park to play, another from Nottingham – no one can tell me they weren’t committed.”