Centre-back John Easterford has now clocked up over 200 games for the Beachboys, we spoke to John about his love of the club and his favourite moments so far…
Concord for me is like home. I joined at eighteen years of age, and the journey is still going. The lure for me is everything about the club is top draw, from the Chairman, to the committee, volunteers, the lads, the management team, all the back room staff and of course Jayne who always has my chicken nuggets ready for me after a game.
But doesn’t every team have that effort going on in the background?
There is no other club like Concord, there is a winning mentality at the club, as well as the Concord spirit which has continued to drive this club forward and will continue to do so. It’s never been a hard decision to return to the club, if Concord want me here, then I will be here. The club has achieved so much in the last ten years and it’s been an honour and a privilege to have been able to contribute along the way.
You’ve now played over 200 games for the Beachboys, what has been your best moment?
Obviously reaching 200 games is something I am very proud of…best moment is a real tough question. Maybe a top 3 in no particular order.
Go on then, I’ll let you!
Firstly would be the final day of the Essex Senior League against Barkingside when we got promoted to the Ryman North. The game itself was brilliant with Kev Mully scoring an OG which got ruled out by the ref, for us to then go straight down the other end and Danny Heale smash a volley in to the top corner, that was priceless…the celebrations that day/night were mental. Then I’d go for the Ryman North play-off final vs Enfield Town, it was a long hard season, and after the heartbreak of the previous season losing in the final we got the job done this time, and it was great to open the scoring. Then finally it would be the first Conference South game against Basingstoke, even though we lost, it was a proud moment for me having come from the Essex Senior League to the Conference South. I also have the honour of scoring Concord’s first goal at Conference South level.
Explain something to me….the beard?
Haha the beard! The beard has been with me now for a good 5/6 years. The problem is, I’m too pretty without one you see, and I don’t believe in pretty boy centre halves. To be honest I received a comment back when I was 18 – I think it might have been Scopesy, I just remember being told I needed to get a few scars on my face to look like a proper centre half. Well since then I’ve certainly had my fair share including a beauty on the 1st day of the Ryman North against Brentwood where my face was basically hanging off my head…40 stitches later I had my first scar!!
Let’s get back to this season…the team remains undefeated in 2016. How pleasing is it to be part of that team?
It’s a great effort from everyone involved to remain undefeated at this level for so long. The boys and the management team are all working hard to keep this run going. A top ten finish in the league come the end of the season will be a great achievement, but we’re not settling for that. We want to push those teams above us hard for a play-off place. For me personally to be part of this team again and on the run we are is another proud moment, the season didn’t get off to the best of starts. It didn’t work out at Canvey for whatever reasons, and I found myself playing in the Ryman North where I tore my hamstring. When I started my rehab and slowly coming back to fitness, Adam showed interest and offered me the chance to return. It was a tough decision simply because I didn’t want to let myself or anyone at the club down because I wasn’t sure where my levels of performance were and I was low in confidence. I owe a lot to Adam and Glen for trusting in me, getting my confidence levels back up and giving me the opportunity to prove to myself and others that I am good enough to play at this level.
John was chatting to Chris Clark.