CHIPPING IN with Darren Foreman: The time will come for Town and Athletic to merge

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The big North Riding semi-final between Edgehill and West Pier has been the talk of the town this week.

Twenty years ago there would have been a lot more rivalry between these clubs and I think the standard would have been a lot higher.

At Boro we used to play against some of the local clubs in pre-season and they would give us a good game.

If you look at it now, could you see one of the sides playing in the Saturday or Sunday leagues giving a Football League team a run for their money?

There are a lot of possible reasons for this in my opinion.

There is generally less interest in playing football now. Younger people have more things to do and are a lot busier than they used to be.

Also, the fact that we have three teams operating at a semi-professional sort of level now is taking most of the better players away from the local leagues.

Scarborough Athletic are playing at NCEL level, and we also have two operating just a couple of levels above the Saturday League.

Scarborough Town and Athletic’s reserve side play Humber League football and their squads are mainly filled with players who would otherwise more than likely be playing for the likes of Edgehill, Pier, Filey or Newlands.

The stadium is the key to all this.

If we can finally get the Weaponness Leisure Village up and running, surely the two clubs will look to get around a table and pool their resources.

Obviously there are one or two issues with the people involved with the clubs and there might be a bit of history there, but it’s not about these individuals, it is about what is best for football in Scarborough.

The club can’t operate two football clubs at a higher level, so it would make sense to put all our efforts into getting one team representing the town back to that level.

It looks like Athletic are on course for promotion and that is great, hopefully they can get over the line and keep progressing.

There is no reason why the town shouldn’t have a reserve team as such, under whatever name is best, operating at the level they are almost at now.

But to have three teams all in and around a similar kind of level is hampering the local leagues in my opinion.

Looking at a more national level, Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez was in the headlines after his rant at the fans and the board after their 2-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup in the week.

It’s obvious to me that the whole situation was doomed from the start. As soon as he was given the title ‘interim’, it was never going to work was it?

That said, the abuse he has received has been shocking.

No human being should be subjected to treatment like that should they?

Steve Kean suffered a similar thing when he was manager of Blackburn Rovers and it doesn’t help the players at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Benitez. He was a poor appointment after a poor sacking.

They really should have kept hold of Roberto Di Matteo. He was popular with the fans and he delivered the Champions League for the club.

Clearly that wasn’t enough for the owner and he wielded the axe again.

Look where they are now? They will probably be looking for another manager very shortly, but as long as they keep winning silverware the fans will probably steer clear of venting their frustrations at the owner.

Talk moved to who could possibly take over when Benitez moves on and the two names that sprung out for me were former Chelsea players Gustavo Poyet and Gianfranco Zola.

Zola would be the more likely candidate for me, and I think that move would go far to patching things up with their disgruntled fan base.

I wanted to end with the sad news that the former Surrey cricketer Tom Maynard, who sadly passed away recently, had alcohol and recreational drugs in his system the night he died.

It is a big problem within any sport and maybe this sad news will go some way to raising the spotlight on it.

Hopefully it can be sorted out and drugs can be kicked out of sport, full stop.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Obviously I am a legend over there. I’m aware that people value me very much as I value them.” Watford manager Gianfranco Zola touting himself for the possible Chelsea job coming up soon.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: The Bradford City fans were excellent throughout their 5-0 defeat at Wembley against Swansea City last Sunday.

They were a credit to their club and to themselves.