Shane Duff column: Well done, bro, I'm so proud of you. Just keep on going
OLDER brother Michael made his 300th appearance for Burnley since his move North in 2004.
Not only is he still racking up Football League games, but he is performing at a fantastic level.
After Tuesday night's win, Burnley sit at the crest of the Championship overlooking the rest of the league's elite crop.
Long may this continue and I know it's far too early to think about, but if he could add a second Championship promotion into the Premier League (we can dream), his CV wouldn't look bad at all.
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The decision to let him go from Swindon with the "too small" tag seems to be a big mistake.
At the time you couldn't really argue as he was seven-and-a-half stone wet through at 17 years old. Michael was definitely a late developer.
So to rise from Hellenic League football and play at every single level all the way to international football is quite dramatic to say the least.
If he didn't play another game he could look back on a super career.
But that isn't him. He is more professional than he ever has been, has a family who support him hugely and that's including his wife Jessica's family.
They are a Cheltenham rugby family turned football fans.
He looks after himself and I think he has a few more years left. I have told him that he needs to play until his legs drop off or I will not be happy, especially after what happened to me.
He is using his time wisely now and is half way to getting his Pro License coaching award, so a further career in football may just be on the cards.
If he was go down the managerial route, I would need to drop my CV in to be his kit man.
I could also double up as a coach with my coaching badges, a performance analyst now I have completed my Prozone level 1, 2 and 3, and a scout after my current employment as a Premier League scout. This will obviously be before I take to the managerial merry-go-round myself.
NETBALLERS HAVE GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO DELIVER NEXT YEAR
I GOT the opportunity to go to an England netball match last week, something I hadn’t done before.
England’s netballers are hungry for success at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after a convincing 3-0 Test series win over South Africa.
They won the final match of the series 53-41 at the University of Worcester Arena.
The SPAR Proteas were not taking this final meeting lying down and came out fighting against a formidable England defence. Their persistence was rewarded in the final quarter where they outscored a creative England attack by five goals. Some complacency perhaps? Overall the main difference in the two teams has to be strength in depth.
England’s ability to chop and change their team added versatility to their side but it may have become hindrance to England.
I was told their error levels were higher than normal and poor decision-making was plentiful against a side they should be dominating.
The focus was quickly turned to Glasgow next year and England have all the components needed to be Commonwealth champions, but can they deliver against Australia and New Zealand when it matters most?
ED AND JOE ARE TWO YOUNG KIDS GOING PLACES
I WATCHED John Brough’s Bishops Cleeve take on Evesham in a local derby and was able to cast my eye on the progress of two young Cheltenham Town hope-Joe Hanks and Ed Williams.
The game itself was a good advert for the Southern League South and West and I was particularly impressed with these two lads.
Joe walked off with a hat- trick which won the game 4-3 so not a lot more needs to be said. He took his goals with ease.
I was particularly impressed with Ed Williams’ ability to tear up the Evesham defence.
The left-back on the night walked off with his shirt inside out and back to front!
His ability to dribble with the ball at pace is a rare quality these days.
It often gets coached out of kids these days.
Broughy is doing a very good job at Cleeve and he will be doing all he can to keep picking up the points along the way.
FULL SPEED AHEAD:
I was delighted to receive a new car supplied by Mercedes Benz Cheltenham and Gloucester. I’m pictured on the right, with Paul Simpson, of Mercedes, and youngsters from the Shane Duff Soccer School