Sport

Stalwart Spetch just fine with ‘the wheel’ financing the side’s summer trip



PORTGUAL appears to be the place to be for footballers this summer – both in the professional game and at non-league level.

And whilst Cherries will have to ignore the call of the beaches in Iberia as they use the country as a base for pre-season, Poole Town players will certainly be having their fun in Portugal.

An end-of-season trip to bask in the sun could be just the tonic for Poole after a forgettable 2021-22 campaign – with the hardships of the season helping to finance the holiday.

Fines are commonplace at every level of the game, and it is no different in the Dolphins’ dressing room.

However, there is a slight twist, with Poole adding a gameshow element to the process.

When a player commits an offence they pay up, before leaving their fate in the hands of the fine wheel, with numerous punishments on top of the fiscal penalty.

A stalwart at the Black Gold Stadium, Will Spetch remembers a time before the wheel, but Dolphins’ record appearance maker is a big fan of the new found tradition.

Revealing all to the Daily Echo, Spetch stated: “The fine wheel has been in for probably two or three years. I think it came in just before the pandemic.

“So we’ve probably done maybe a season of it, which paid for the end of the season trip to Portugal, in 2019.

“And then obviously we had two short seasons, then this year we’ve done another wheel which has paid for us to go to Portugal again at the end of May.

“It has probably collected about five and a half grand.

“And then you obviously spend your Christmas-do money out of that as well.

“So it brings a good atmosphere to the changing room. When you get here, you spin the wheel and have a laugh.

“People obviously lose money, but that’s part and parcel of playing football. It’s a good laugh.”

A few Cherries youngsters have been sent to Poole on loan to experience senior football, but the club’s Premier League scholar of the year, Noa Boutin, arguably got more than he bargained for when he arrived at the Black Gold Stadium for the first time.

“He arrived late, he spun the wheel and then it landed on ‘clean the man-of-the-match’s boots’,” began Spetch.

“Then he ended up getting man-of-the-match!

“It was on his debut. So I don’t know if he cleaned his boots, but there’s quite a few hefty fines.

“We changed the fines up for the last game of the season, but I think one of the top fines was like 35 quid and then one of the lads has come out there 70 quid down by the beginning of the game.

“It’s all fun, so everyone enjoys it.”





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