THIS is the first newspaper column of my 15-year career in professional football and it comes after one of the strangest afternoons of my career.
I have never been involved in an abandoned game before and I didn’t think that Saturday’s home match against Morecambe would be the first.
The pitch at the Store First Stadium was definitely still playable when the game was stopped at 0-0 after an hour, with Morecambe down to 10 men.
This is my first season in League Two after spending most of my career in the Premier League and the Championship, and I have noticed that the standard of refereeing is not as good in this division.
We had worked hard to gain an advantage and we frustrated Morecambe into getting a man sent off. We fancied our chances of winning but I think the referee came under pressure from Morecambe to abandon the game, because it suited them.
I’ve never known a period with so many games getting called off, after our home match against Bury and our trip to Portsmouth were also postponed recently.
But we did get a win at Bristol Rovers last Tuesday.
It was a fantastic finish to the game, with Peter Murphy scoring in the 93rd minute, and it shows the value of keeping going until the final whistle. That was something I saw in my younger days at Manchester United, when we used to score so many late goals.
It was nice to be involved in setting up the goal after coming off the bench.
We travel to Wycombe on Saturday and of course I’d like to start the game if I can.
People might think I’m not suited to the League Two rough and tumble at this time of year but I don’t see it that way.
You don’t play for 15 years without being able to handle things like that.
I have enjoyed my time at Stanley since I arrived in the summer.
It’s a learning curve for me in League Two but there are a lot of young lads here who I try to help with my experience in the game.
At 32 years old, I’m in that phase of my career where I want to do what I can to help.
When I arrived here, like everyone I was aware of the club’s famous name, and for my generation the club is probably most famous for the milk advert.
But everyone is so welcoming too. There are a great bunch of lads here and everyone from the coaching staff to the office staff are really good people.
There are unsung heroes like Buzzer the groundsman, Mark Turner, Vikki Gilmartin and Naz the kit man who does so many different jobs.
The club may not be affluent in terms of finances, but it is affluent in terms of people who are willing to put so much effort in. You do need that at a club like this.
With a bit of investment in the future there is the potential to move to that next level, to League One, provided whoever invests buys into that spirit.
You see clubs like Chesterfield who have done well with investment. There’s no reason at all why we can’t do that too.