While the rest of us were sleeping off the effects of Christmas Day’s over-indulgence, before tucking into a plate of cold meats and mash, the U16s’ Kieron Bonner and Cody Gibbs were on a plane en route from Gatwick to Guernsey for their first taste of senior football.
With a number of regular first teamers understandably unavailable for the Boxing Day clash against the Green Lions, Hornets manager Dom di Paola turned to the youth for help and Kieron and Cody were drafted into the fifteen man squad along with former Horsham Youth team player, and terrace favourite, Tony Nwachukwu. And it was for Nwachukwu, scorer of two goals in the Hornets’ excellent 3-1 victory, that Kieron was able to make his playing debut when replacing the winger for the final couple of minutes.
“The lads were as good as gold” said Dom. “We managed to get Kieron on the pitch at the end and, if I’m honest, they probably enjoyed the whole experience more than any of us. It was not the ideal circumstances in which to bring them in as the more senior boys, myself included, felt it was wrong that we should have been expected to travel all that way on Boxing Day and probably weren’t as chatty as they normally would be. But we included them both in the warm up, and they did well.”