SUNDAY INDEPENDENT COLUMN - 10 Feb 2013:
TRURO CITY FC./ by MIKE TRUSCOTT
Truro City player-manager Lee Hodges has heaped praise on the latest player to join the “300 club” at Treyew Road.
Experienced midfielder Joe Broad clocked up a triple century of appearances for City when he played in their 3-2 defeat at Dover Athletic last Saturday. He joins striker Stewart Yetton in having reached that milestone, with three more set to join them soon.
Broad’s feat is all the more notable for coming in the wake of a season when some observers feared his best was behind him.
Hodges reflects: ‘A lot of people were saying he wasn’t the player he used to be, but I never doubted that he was still a very good player. He had missed pre-season through injury and when that happens it is extremely difficult to get to the level everyone knows you are capable of.
‘This time he’s had no such problems. He had a full pre-season, playing in all the friendlies, and the result is there for all to see – he’s been one of our most consistent players, putting in outstanding displays week in week out. He’s right back up there, at the peak of his performance’
Hodges adds: ‘He’s is a great guy on and off the field, a real team leader, and to play 300 times for one club, at any level, is a brilliant achievement.”
Broad was one of the first of the experienced signings to join Truro at the start of their meteoric rise through the leagues nearly a decade ago. He brought a wealth of experience after Football League action with the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Yeovil Town, Torquay United and Walsall.
‘I’m convinced he could have played at an even higher level,’ says Hodges, ‘but that was his call and he decided Truro was the place for him.’
The club has reaped the benefits time and again, including the FA Vase triumph at Wembley in 2007 when Broad was one of the scorers in the 3-1 win over AFC Totton.
He is nine appearances behind Yetton, currently on 309 but out with a serious knee injury since October. Moving ever closer to the 300 club are skipper Jake Ash, currently on 289, and Andy Watkins and Marcus Martin (both 280).
The Truro Fans website commented: “A fantastic achievement for Broady but also, in the modern era, highly unusual for a group of players to achieve this record together – and even more so with Truro City’s recent travails.”
Broad’s milestone appearance at Dover last Saturday came after yet another eventful coach trip for the team – their third in a month.
For their match at Welling on January 5, the Truro party finally checked into their hotel at around 12.15 am after a two-and-a-half hour motorway delay when their coach broke down.
Seventeen days later, their coach had to turn back at Taunton when a blizzard halted their trip to Eastleigh.
Then, for Dover, a puncture caused another long delay and arrival in their hotel after 4 am.
After narrowly losing 3-2, it prompted this comment on the TigerTalk fans forum: “Another remarkable performance from an exceptional group of players. How many bottom-of-the-league teams would spend over five hours in a motorway service area on the way up last night because of bus problems, before getting to their hotel after 4 am, and then match one of the top sides?
‘Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised any longer; they have made a habit of tackling adversity head on. Well done, lads.’
CITY ALERTS MONDAY 11TH FEB.
LEE'S VERDICT on Hayes & Yeading 1 Truro City 2:
"Football can be such a funny game. We didn't play as well as we have done in recent weeks, especially in the first half, but we went in 1-1 and then nicked the winner in the second half. It was a very even game and the result was nothing more than the boys deserved after all their efforts of recent weeks. I'm delighted for the players, supporters and everyone concerned with the club."