My First XI: Aveley, Andy Potter

By Ian Townsend

Andy gives us his First XI direct from Parkside. Although looking at his selection, most of it comes direct from Mill Field.

I would put this side out to play football, to have a war, to go out for a drink afterwards- and a few of them wouldn’t get back until the next day. A proper all time Aveley XI.

1. Dave Annetts.80/90s Played in our all-conquering side of the late 80's. Conceding an all-time low number of goals. Massive guy, massive personality. League Cup Winner.

2. John 'Kersie' Kerslake. 80s old School defender. Had the mindset, “ball or player can pass me, but not both.” Have seen him put tricky wingers in the stand on numerous occasions.

3. Graham 'Arthur' Daley. 80 and 90s, probably invented wing back before wing backs were invented. Nominally a left back, but generally dictated the game such was his ability. Nice fella as well.

4. Jason Raad. A nod to the modern era. Outrageously talented player. Sadly moved to Concord Rangers at the beginning of this season. Even more sadly, broke his leg recently.

5. Keith Day. Went on to have a great professional career for Leyton Orient and Colchester United. His inclusion is a no brainer.

6. Mark Bentley . Went on to have a great professional career with Dagenham & Redbridge, Gillingham and Aldershot Town. Another no brainer. Current manager of Canvey Island- boo...

7. Johnny 'Reeso' Rees . Every side needs a character, someone to organise a night out and to collect the fines. A successful business man, played football just for the fun of it. It showed.

8. Gary 'Piggy' Pettett. 1980's Every side needs a midfield enforcer. This guy would have no part in today's game, and indeed would be more suited to WWF. But in that era we loved him.

9. Micky Aylett. 1970’s. Mick 'The Miller' was the first in a long list of heroes who wore blue. Except he wore white, as we wore a kit of all white back in the day. A proper centre forward.

10. Tony Macklin. 1990's maverick. Probably best player I've seen in an Aveley shirt, playing for an average side. Smoked more fags than he scored goals but only just. Incredibly gifted. Sadly no longer with us.

11. Reggie Harris. 1980's winger. All time terrace hero. The ultimate 80s winger; shirt untucked, low hair, socks rolled down. Can do no wrong. We published a fanzine in his name. My favourite Aveley player of all time.

I've tried to include players from most eras but have naturally lapsed to the 'old days' when teams were less regimented and individuals could flourish. I've only included one modern day player and none from perhaps our greatest side under Rod Stringer (hopefully he won't find out!). That side was magnificent, but a machine, a sum of its parts.

Right, let’s have your First XI! Email your squad to Ian at townsendaround@gmail.com and you’ll see it appear here.

Image: David Bauckham.

Where next?

Don Andrews Corie Andrews leaves the K's for AFC Wimbledon
My First XI: Romford FC – Mike Woods Mike has watched Romford play for five decades. His chosen team spans each of them.

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