Youth keeper flown to London for cover
When many teenagers get caught answering phones at college, a strong telling off usually follows.
However, even the sternest of teachers could forgive youth goalkeeper Oliver Martin considering what was about to follow.
It was set to be a whirlwind 24 hours for the young shot stopper, who was asked to arrive at Manchester Airport for an 8.30 am flight to Heathrow the following morning to meet up with the first team who had travelled down on the Friday.
“I was half way through one of my assignments and I got a phone call from Steve Carlin (director of youth) to say Chris Lucketti had asked me to travel down to Wimbledon to act as cover for David Lucas”.
Player coach Lucas had received a knock in training and was a doubt for Saturday’s game.
“I was very excited” Martin confessed.
Second year scholar Martin, has impressed with the youth set-up, and was not actually used with the first team in Saturdays 2-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon after Lucas passed a late fitness test.
Yet, however, Martin feels it wasn’t a journey wasted.
“It was a great experience. The more I get used to it, the easier it will be for me.”
Martin made it to the bench last season at Aldershot when Scott Davies was suspended and Lucas kept goal.
“If I do get a professional contract then it’s got me ready for when I’m needed to travel”.
It’s back to reality for Martin this week as he returns to college and to the youth team with an away trip to Oldham as Steve Carlin looks for a reaction after a 3-0 defeat to early league leaders Rochdale on Saturday.
Although this week biggest lesson for Martin could well be to always expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to football.